The main answer to this question is the lowering of approval rates by Arizona Social Security judges. The approval rates on disability cases in Arizona has plummeted in the last 5 years. The average approval rate is about 45 percent if you factor in all of the judges' approval rates on Social Security disability cases in Arizona.
There are some judges that approve claimants 20 to 30 percent of the time on average. There are very few Social Security disability judges left in Arizona that approve above 50 to 60 percent of the cases that they hear.
There is an option to change judges but it's not exercised frequently.
If a claimant can prove that a prejudiced or partial Administrative Law Judge is scheduled to hear their case, that judge could be removed from the case by the claimant giving notice to the Administrative Law Judge who will then consider the objection and decide whether or not to recuse their self.
As you can imagine, this procedure does not happen very often in Arizona.
If the judge refuses to withdraw the claimant after the hearing can present his or her objections to the appeals counsel for why the judge's decision should be reversed or a new hearing held with another judge.
Fendon Law Firm, PC is the largest family-owned and operated workers' compensation and Social Security disability law firm in the State of Arizona. We provide free consultations on the majority of workers' comp and Social Security cases. We treat our clients like family because we are family. Please feel free to call us for a free consultation.