WASHINGTON -- The union representing Social Security's administrative law judges is suing the agency, claiming judges are forced to decide more than 500 cases a year, a standard that sometimes results in benefits that would otherwise be denied if judges had more time to review evidence.
The Social Security Administration calls the standard a productivity goal, but the lawsuit claims it is an illegal quota.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Chicago. It says judges sometimes award benefits just to clear cases faster because it takes longer to issue orders denying benefits.
The agency had no comment, but former Commissioner Michael Astrue says the lawsuit is a result of a few malcontents who don't want to do their work.
Nearly 11 million people get Social Security disability benefits.
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
The Associated Press