Thursday, January 13, 2011

ALJ Fier Unfit To Rehear Case

According to data from the Social Security Administration (the "SSA"), the allowance rate in 2009 for disability decisions by Administrative Law Judges ("ALJ's") was 63%, or almost two out of every three cases. Many of the ALJs at the Queens, New York hearing office are known for being anti-claimant because of their low allowance rates. One of those ALJ's is Seymour Fier.

The most recent data from the SSA covered the time period from September 25, 2010 through November 26, 2010. During that time period, ALJ Fier denied thirty (30) cases and approved full benefits in only six (6) cases. Statistics show that ALJ Fier's allowance rate is way below normal.

Statistics are not the only source of evidence revealing ALJ Fier's inability to evaluate disability cases objectively. Federal district judges have also issued decisions indicating that ALJ Fier is not fit to review cases fairly. The latest reported decision came from Judge Nicholas Garaufis in
McDowell v. Social Security, 2010 WL 5026745 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 3, 2010).

Judge Garaufis stated that ALJ Fier "did not devote even a single sentence of analysis to" his finding that the claimant did not meet a "listing." Similarly, Judge Garaufis lamented that ALJ Fier devoted only "a single, conclusory pen-stroke without providing even a modicum of analysis or a token recitation of a single fact," for his conclusion that the claimant lacked credibility. In light of ALJ Fier's obvious inability to review the plaintiff's claim fairly, Judge Garaufis not only reversed ALJ Fier's decision, but also ordered the SSA to reassign the claim to a different ALJ.

No comments: