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Disability Law News - December 2012


Articles in this Issue

Second Circuit Rules on Listing 12.05
December 27, 2012
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has made one of its first forays into the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing for mental retardation. The result was some good news for advocates and some not such good news. Read More

Appeals Council Issues Practice Guide
December 27, 2012
The Appeals Council has issued a handy practice guide, imminently suitable for bulletin boards. Read More

SSA Offices Closing Earlier
December 27, 2012
Citing budget cuts, Social Security district offices began closing their doors to the public 30 minutes early each day, effective November 19, 2012. Read More

SSA Will Stop All Paper Checks in March 2013
December 27, 2012
March 1, 2013, is the date that federal benefit payments will transition to all-electronic delivery. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is urging all recipients of federal benefits, including SSI and Social Security disability or retirement benefits to switch to direct deposit or the Treasury-recommended Direct Express program. Read More

SSI Program Turns Forty
December 27, 2012
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program just celebrated its fortieth birthday. When President Richard M. Nixon signed the program into law on October 30, 1972, he said, “Millions of older Americans who live in poverty, along with the blind and the disabled, will be helped by a new Federal floor under their income. Read More

SSA Adds New Compassionate Allowances Condition
December 27, 2012
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the addition of 35 Compassionate Allowances conditions, bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 200. Read More

How to Determine Disability Onset Date Clarified
December 27, 2012
SSA has released revised policy statements relating to the determination of onset date. Read More

Interviewing People with Mental Impairments Guidelines
December 27, 2012
SSA has issued a new Program Operations Manual System (POMS) section, DI 11005.076 Interviewing People with a Mental Impairment(s). Read More

Can't Ask, Don't Tell Your Social Security Number
December 27, 2012
Under a revision to New York’s General Business Law, asking for a person’s Social Security number is prohibited in many cases. Read More

Emergency Assistance Available for Energy Emergencies
December 27, 2012
With the heating season upon us, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) recently reminded local social services districts that they should explore the availability of HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) benefits before issuing Emergency Assistance for Adults (EAA) to meet utility or non-utility energy emergencies. Read More

Smile - You May Be On Candid Camera
December 27, 2012
SSA’s Office of Disability Programs recently added a new POMS section to provide guidance on processing a continuing disability review (CDR) when a Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit (CDIU) report of investigation (ROI) appears in the file. In other words, how should the Disability Hearing Unit (DHU) handle reports of video surveillance or other investigations? Read More

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Process Streamlined
December 27, 2012
On October 23, 2012, the Secretary of Education amended the regulations governing discharge of federal student loans based on total and permanent disability. Read More

Searchable DOT Available
December 27, 2012
Thanks to the technical skills of David Ralph and Jim Murphy of LawNY and Legal Services of Central New York respectively, with support from Joe Kelemen of the WNYLC, searchable versions of both the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the DOT (SOC) are now available. Read More

GAO Issues Reports on SSI Overpayments, UIB
December 27, 2012
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recently issued two reports dealing with Social Security disability programs. GAO-13-109 - entitled “SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME - SSA Has Taken Steps to Prevent and Detect Overpayments, but Additional Actions Could Be Taken to Improve Oversight” - was released in December 2012, and is available at GAO-12-764 - Overlapping Disability and Unemployment Benefits Should be Evaluated for Potential Savings - was released on July 31, 2012. Read More

New State Disability Report Issued
December 27, 2012
In another state directive relevant to DAP advocates, the Department of Health (DOH) and Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) calls for ending the use of the twenty-five page “Medical Report for Determination of Disability” (LDSS-486T), and introduces a new one page LDSS-486T. See GIS 12 MA-027: “Medical Evidence Gathering for Disability Determinations - Adult Cases". Read More

Will the Fifth Time Be the Charm?
December 27, 2012
After four hearings, prompted by three Appeals Council remands, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr., ordered another remand for further proceedings consistent with Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman’s report and recommendation in Norman v. Astrue, 2012 WL 4378042 (S.D.N.Y. September 25, 2012). The court denied the Commissioner’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and overruled his numerous objections to Magistrate Judge Pitman’s report. Read More

Supreme Court to Hear DOMA Case
December 27, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Read More

Benefits to be Restored for Clark Class Members
December 27, 2012
Readers of these pages will be familiar with the Clark litigation - a class action lawsuit challenging the Social Security Administration’s practice of suspending and denying SSI and Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) benefits to people with outstanding warrants for alleged probation or parole violations. See the June 2012 edition of the Disability Law News. Read More

Appeals Council Conducts Own Mothion Reviews
December 27, 2012
The Division of Quality of the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) issued its Fiscal Year 2011 Final Actions Report recently, summarizing the outcomes of the 3,692 favorable ALJ decisions it referred to the Appeals Council. Read More

Web News - December 2012
December 27, 2012
HUD Sandy Disaster Relief Information Available; SNAP Calculator Updated; Find Free Legislative Information; Medicaid Managed Care and Pharmacy Information Website Online Read More

End Note - December 2012
Plan Your New Year's Resolutions Carefully
December 27, 2012
How many of us start the new year with all the best intentions? Get organized, go to the gym, lose weight, or quit smoking? And how many of us fall off the wagon before the end of January? Researchers studying the science of “self-change” are trying to understand the ways in which we may sabotage our chances for success. Some speculate that we may be too optimistic about those chances. Read More

SSA Pays Small COLA for 2013
December 27, 2012
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a modest 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2013. Read More

Bulletin Board
July 16, 2013
Astrue v. Capato; Barnhart v. Thomas; Genier v. Astrue Read More

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