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Disability Law News - September 2014 Issue


Articles in this Issue

New York Takes Over SSP Payments
September 30, 2014
As reported in the June 2014 edition of this newsletter, New York State will take over administration of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplement effective October 1, 2014. For decades, New York State has paid an additional state supplement to recipients of SSI, but contracted with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to administer payment of the supplement. Read More

SSA Updates Practice Guide
September 30, 2014
The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a “Best Practices Handbook” for representatives on its website. Of particular interest are what appear to be recent clarifications to the guidelines for actions before the Appeals Council. Read More

SSI Restoration Act: Increased Asset Limits for the 21st Century
September 30, 2014
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based benefits payable to disabled persons with little or no income and very few resources. An eligible individual is allowed to have no more than $2,000 in savings, a figure that has not increased in decades. Read More

Charges Dismissed Against Eight NYC Police Officers
September 30, 2014
Among the many hyper charged reports of rampant fraud within the disability system, one in particular that generated sensational publicity was that of 136 New York City employees who claimed that they had were disabled based on their September 11, 2001 experiences. Read More

SSA Continues to Issue Windsor Instructions
September 30, 2014
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued further instructions implementing United States v. Windsor, –– U.S. ––, 133 S.Ct. 2675, 2695, 186 L.Ed.2d 808 (2013) – the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down Section 3 of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Read More

New Rules Require Early Objections to Video Hearings
September 30, 2014
SSA issued final regulations that went into effect on July 25, 2014, detailing how a claimant may object to appearing at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing via video teleconferencing, or otherwise object to the time and place of a hearing. Read More

QDD and CAL Extended
September 30, 2014
SSA is extending the expiration date of its rule that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that the agency considers under its quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. Read More

SSA to Provide Some Information, But Not SSN Printouts
September 30, 2014
It has been an on again, off again, on again time with respect to the Social Security Administration (SSA) giving out information to its “customers.” The agency used to provide benefit verification letters to recipients, but discontinued that practice. The agency also used to send out periodic mailings of wage earners’ Social Security Statements, but stopped doing that too. In the past, SSA would also issue Social Security number printouts to its constituents, but eliminated that service as well. Read More

Second Circuit Issues Disability Decisions
September 30, 2014
As previously reported in these pages, disability claimants have not been faring too well these days before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The court often issues summary orders in these disheartening cases, so the good news is that the decisions usually do not have precedential value. Read More

Magistrate Orders Remand for Payment
September 30, 2014
Veteran DAP attorney David Ralph of the Elmira office of LawNY achieved the most satisfying of victories: Magistrate Judge Marian Payson remanded for calculation of benefits after determining that the ALJ had misapplied the treating physician rule. Kelly v. Astrue, 2014 WL 3563391(W.D.N.Y. July 18, 2014). Read More

District Court Remands and Orders Payment in Child SSI Case
September 30, 2014
It is rare when a District Court reverses and remands a case back solely for the calculation of benefits. But in St. Louis ex rel. D.H. v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec, 2014 WL 2894438 (N.D.N.Y., June 25, 2014), Senior Judge Norman Mordue did just that. Read More

Pro Se Child Denied Full and Fair Hearing
September 30, 2014
Congratulations to Michael Hampden of Legal Services for Children, Inc. for getting a remand for his client in Price ex re. A.N. v. Astrue, 2014 WL 4384245 (E.D.N.Y. August 6, 2014). Originally the plaintiff filed pro se for her grandson, who was born prematurely, addicted to cocaine and diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but was denied benefits. Read More

Seventh Circuit Decisions Too Good To Miss
September 30, 2014
Once in a while we cover cases from other Circuits because the opinions in Social Security cases are pleasantly different from our own Circuit. The cases coming out of the Seventh Circuit reiterate legal arguments that advocates have been making for years. To our delight, the Seventh Circuit shows a continued pattern of criticism of the government’s professional conduct when it comes to Social Security cases. Read More

Web News - September 2014
September 30, 2014
New Web Based Foreclosure Guide Debuts; Civil Right to Counsel Resources Launched; Improvements Made to NYS Health Exchange Website; Justice Department Launches Elder Justice Website Read More

Retired Advocate Wins Big
September 30, 2014
Jody Davis has been a DAP fixture for many years. A senior paralegal at the Geneva office of LawNY, Jody’s smiling presence has always been a welcome addition to DAP Task force meetings and conferences. With her even temper, wisdom, and common sense, she was an accomplished advocate and a valued colleague. Jody retired this Spring. We wish her well, but will miss her greatly. Read More

Section 301 Saves the Day
September 30, 2014
Section 301 of the Social Security Amendments of 1980 (Pub.L 101-508, §5113) allows for the continuation of benefits if a beneficiary is participating in a rehabilitation program even if there has been medical improvement. Read More

ALJ Amends Partially Favorable Decision
September 30, 2014
Ellen Heidrick, an attorney in the Bath office of LawNY, won victories for her client not once, but twice. Ellen’s client was 50 years old at the time of application and 56 at the hearing. Read More

Workin' on a Chain Gang
September 30, 2014
Does work performed while in prison constitute past relevant work for purposes of SSA’s sequential evaluation? Sue Bosworth-Quinlan of the Cortland office of the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc., recently posed this question, and summarized the answers and suggestions she received. Read More

OIG and GAO Issue Reports
September 30, 2014
The OIG and GAO issue reports: Completeness of SSA’s Disability Claims Files, A-01-13-23082; Payment Accuracy of Dually Entitled Title II Beneficiaries, A-04-13-13014; Wages Reported for Recipients Show Indications of Possible SSN Misuse, GAO-14-597 Read More

End Note - September 2014
Let's Do Lunch
September 30, 2014
Do you typically eat lunch at your desk? Or skip lunch altogether? Both could be bad for your health, according to Chris Cunningham, professor of Industrial-Organizational Health Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Read More

Bulletin Board
September 27, 2010
The "Bulletin Board" contains information about recent disability decisions from the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Read More

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