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Lawsuit Against Queens ALJs Close to Settlement

A lawsuit against Social Security Administrator Michael Astrue continues to make its way through the legal system. In 2001, eight disabled people sued the Social Security Administration, alleging that five administrative law judges (ALJs) had created a "brick wall of bias." The ALJs were accused of systematically ignoring medical evidence, depriving applicants the right to a fair hearing and displaying hostility toward people who file Social Security Disability appeals.

Settlement may be on the horizon

Last week, a federal judge in Brooklyn gave preliminary approval to a proposed settlement. The judge also gave conditional certification to a class of thousands of individuals whose claims were rejected in full or in part by one of the judges.

SSD hearings will probably get do-overs

What does this mean? In practical terms, it means that around 4,000 people whose Social Security Disability appeals claims were rejected since 2008 by one of the five judges would be eligible to have new hearings with different judges. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, the judges would keep their jobs but would be required to complete training classes. Their future decisions would be monitored for signs of discrimination and hostile treatment of claimants.

If you are having trouble with your SSD claim or appeal in Queens or anywhere else in the United States, do what hundreds of thousands of others have done - call Binder & Binder, America's most successful disability advocates. They have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.

Source: Reuters, 'Judge gives initial OK to bias settlement over disability claims," by Jessica Dye, May 3, 2013. 

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