Texas Social Security Disability Judges deny almost half of the cases they hear!
If you live in Texas, it is much harder to win a Social Security disability case than most people realize. For example, the Austin American-Statesman reported that Texas has the fifth highest denial rate of Social Security disability claims in the country. In Texas, 49.7% of Social Security disability claims are denied. Other states have lower denial rates. In Hawaii, for example, fewer than 23% of Social Security disability claims are denied.
Who Will Decide Your Claim?
Social Security administrative law judges decide cases at their own discretion, therefore, different judges have different approval rates. For example:
- Judge Soddy, who presides over Social Security disability claims in the Houston Bissonet hearing office, has one of the highest denial rates in the nation. In fiscal year 2016, Judge Soddy disposed of 415 cases. 253 of those cases were denied, 136 of those cases were dismissed, and just 26 of those cases were approved. Thus, Judge Soddy’s approval of claims was just 6%.
- Judge Suttles, who hears disability claims of individuals in the Houston downtown hearing office, is specifically mentioned in the Austin American-Statesman article as having the tenth highest denial rate in the country. From 2010 -2015, Judge Suttles denied more than 81% of the claims that came before him. In fiscal year 2016, Judge Settles disposed of 429 claims. 228 of those claims were denied, 111 of those claims were dismissed and just 90 claims were approved. Thus, Judge Settle’s approval of claims was at 21%.
When the Social Security disability process was created in the 1950s, it was designed to be a “non-adversarial” process where disabled individuals did not need legal representation. Unfortunately, the process has changed tremendously since those days and you need every advantage you can get when filing for your Social Security disability benefits.
Protect Your Rights With the Help of a Board Certified Attorney
Statistics show that individuals are more likely to win a case when they hire an experienced attorney. While many Social Security disability cases are denied in Texas, choosing a board certified lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve. We have been appearing in front of judges like Judges Soddy and Suttles for over 30 years, and we would be pleased to talk to you about your rights and about how we can help get the benefits you deserve. Please contact us today for more information.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.