WASHINGTON (AP) — Driven to reduce a huge backlog of disability claims, Social Security is pushing judges to award benefits to people who may not deserve them, several current and former judges told Congress on Thursday.

Larry Butler, an administrative law judge from Fort Myers, Fla., called the system "paying down the backlog."

A former Social Security judge, J.E. Sullivan, said, "The only thing that matters in the adjudication process is signing that final decision." Sullivan is now an administrative law judge for the Department of Transportation.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating why many judges have high approval rates for claims already rejected twice by field offices or state agencies. Two current and two former judges spoke at a subcommittee hearing.

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