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Trainings

The Empire Justice Center provides training in many areas of law and practice related to pursuing claims for SSD and SSI benefits. We present training opportunities for DAP-funded advocates at several Task Force meetings held periodically around the state. In addition, Empire Justice Center staff present trainings at the New York State Bar Association Partnership Conference, as well as at national conferences sponsored by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). Many of our training sessions have been videotaped and are available at the Online Resource Center (link). Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits are available for viewing several of our videotaped training sessions.

Topics include Res Judicata, Reopening and Revival: The 3 Rs for Keeping Social Security Cases Alive; Introduction to Disability Law; Childhood Disability: The 2009 Childhood Social Security Rulings (SSRs); Winning on Appeal; Confronting Vocational Experts' ("VE") Testimony; Handling SSI Child Disability Cases; SSI Income and Resource Issues and Non-Disability Eligibility; and The Sequential Evaluation: Developing Mental Impairment Cases.

 


TRAININGS AND EVENTS

HIV AS A DISABLING CONDITION: Maximizing SSI / SSD
This training will provide case managers with basic information about Social Security's disability benefit program. Read More

The Hip Bone is Connected to the Back Bone: Understanding Musculoskeletal Impairments and "Dem Bones"
A medical practitioner familiar with Social Security Administration's (SSA) listings discusses the musculoskeletal impairments listing. An experienced Social Security attorney will facilitate the presentation so that participants will better understand the type of medical evidence they will be reviewing and should be developing in cases of musculoskeletal impairments. A hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments who has been denied SSI will be used to demonstrate strategies for arguing that a claim meets or equals the listing. Read More

The Role of Vocational Issues in a Social Security Case
Two experienced Social Security attorneys discuss how vocational issues may affect the outcome of a Social Security disability case. Topics include significance of vocational evidence in the sequential evaluation process, new POMS and proposed regulations on past relevant work, questioning a vocational expert (VE), and overview of relevant case law. Read More

Now Playing: DAP Advocate vs. the Vocational Expert - A Hearing Experience
This mock Social Security hearing gives viewers a sense of how to present vocational evidence at a hearing. "Actors" assume the roles of ALJ, the claimant, and the vocational expert (VE). Using the hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments, an experienced advocate will demonstrate direct examination of the claimant and a cross-examination of the VE. Read More

How to Prove the Hip Bone/Back Bone Connection: Medical Issues in Disability Cases
A panel of experienced attorneys discuss issues related to medical evidence, including preparation and use of forms, value of evidence from non-acceptable medical sources (SSR 06-3p), applicability of HALLEX provisions, problems with getting medical records and subpoenas, dealing with consultative examiner (CE) opinions, and electronic medical records. Read More

The Role of Vocational Issues in a Social Security Case
Two experienced Social Security attorneys discuss how vocational issues may affect the outcome of a Social Security disability case. Topics include significance of vocational evidence in the sequential evaluation process, new POMS and proposed regulations on past relevant work, questioning a vocational expert (VE), and overview of relevant case law. Read More

Thumbs Up or Down? Practical Reviews of the VE Mock Hearing
A panel of experienced Social Security attorneys discuss issues raised in the mock hearing, as well as other vocational issues, including the art of the hypothetical question, the validity of the numbers/testimony offered by the VE, and tips for cross-examining the VE. Read More

Representing Clients with Disabilities in the Welfare Context: How to Use the Law to Help Clients with Disabilities Access Public Benefits
This session first offers tips for recognizing and working with clients with disabilities. Then, it will also provide an overview of the legal framework for disability advocacy in the welfare context. Finally, it examines selected welfare issues and how they impact clients with disabilities. This will include, for example, reasonable accommodations, the application process, the work requirements and the rules relating to drug and alcohol use. This session examines both administrative advocacy and litigation. Read More

SSI Income and Resources
This two-hour workshop will focus on “non-disability issues” involving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims that are not generally covered elsewhere, including income and resource rules, as well as living arrangements. Read More

Maximizing Health coverage for DAP clients - Before and After Winning the Case
Brief overview will include: recent changes to Medicaid, Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus; Medicaid managed care for SSI recipients; transitioning to Medicare. Read More

Res Judicata, Reopening and Revival: The 3 Rs for Keeping Social Security Cases Alive (so they can be paid)
This training explores the ways in which the Social Security Administrations (SSAs) administrative finality and res judicata rules can be avoided. Read More

Introduction to Disability Law
This two part training will cover the fundamentals of disability law practice. Read More

Childhood Disability: The 2009 Childhood Social Security Rulings (SSRs)
This training provides a brief overview of the children’s SSI program, including concepts of medical and functional equivalence to the Listings. Then, the 2009 SSRs are analyzed in detail, along with their impact on each domain of functioning and advocacy tips for using the SSRs in proving disability in children’s SSI cases. Read More

Effect of Holocaust Reparations on Medicaid, SSI and Other Benefits
The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 creates a special right for survivors of the Holocaust. When they apply for federally funded benefits or services that are based on financial need, the payments they have received based on their status as a victim of Nazi persecution are not counted in determining their financial eligibility for these federally funded benefits. Read More

Confronting Vocational Experts' ("VE") Testimony
If the Grids cannot be applied, you had better prepare for the testimony of a Vocational Expert (VE). Learn about when a VE will be called in a case, the role of the VE, dealing with hypothetical questions, and formulating a cross examination. Read More

Winning on Appeal
Using an HIV case as a model, this session will outline appeal procedures and practices at the Appeals Council and in U.S. District Courts. Presenters will focus on the practices and procedures specific to each of the four District Courts in New York. Read More

Immigration Status & Public Benefits Eligibility
This is a training on immigration status as an eligibility requirement in various federal and state public benefits programs. The main focus of the session will be on the immigrant eligibility rules in means tested benefit programs, specifically the Family and Safety Net Assistance Programs, the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), Food Stamps and Medicaid. In addition to the program rules, we will cover the immigrant documentation requirements of the benefits agencies and some special issues that arise in the context of immigrant use of benefits programs, including public charge, sponsor liability and reporting. Read More

Handling SSI Child Disability Cases
This training will cover the child's SSI regulations including the concept of functional equivalence, domains of functioning, using forms and more. Read More

SSI Non-Disability Eligibility
This training covers the fundamentals of SSI eligibility, including: income and resources, living arrangements, deeming, transfer of assets and other penalties, non-citizen restrictions, residency and more. Read More

The Sequential Evaluation: Developing Mental Impairment Cases at Steps 4 & 5
This course builds upon the sequential evaluation process at Step 3. It focuses on Step 4 (past relevant work) and the Step 5 application of the Grid Rules. Participants will learn how to get off the grids and the use of vocational expert testimony in disability cases. Read More

Sequential Evaluation: Developing Mental Impairment Cases at Step 3
This training is designed to be an introductory course for those new to Social Security Disability Law. It begins with an overview of Social Security Disability and the sequential evaluation process with a focus on Step 3 (the "Listings") for mental impairment cases. Participants will learn how to develop strong evidence and how to make winning arguments at Step 3, particularly in mental impairment cases. Read More