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Disability Law News - June 2015 Issue


 

Articles in this Issue

SSA Stops Collecting Overpayments for Same-Sex Couples
June 23, 2015
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced it will hold all Supplemental Security Income (SSI) actions that would result in an overpayment due to deeming of income or resources based on recognition of a same-sex marriage, or applying the couple’s payment rate or resource limit to a member of a same-sex couple. Read More

SSA Issues HALLEX on Evidence Submission Regulations
June 23, 2015
Since April 15, 2015, advocates have been bound by SSA’s new rules on the submission of evidence. The new regulations, were summarized in the March 2015 edition of this newsletter. In short, they require claimants and representatives to inform Social Security about, or submit, all evidence that relates to a claim for disability. Read More

Amy Leach Remembered
June 23, 2015
Amy (Amelia) Leach recently lost her battle against multiple myeloma. Amy was dedicated nurse who became a DAP paralegal at the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (LASMNY), covering Chenango, Broome and occasionally Onondaga County cases. Read More

Children's Growth Disorders Listings Revised
June 23, 2015
Two years after issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), SSA has now published final rules revising the Listings pertaining to children’s growth disorders. Read More

Air Conditioners Available Under HEAP
June 23, 2015
On April 24, 2015, OTDA/CEES issued and posted 15 LCM-03: “2014-2015 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Cooling Assistance Component (CAC).” The LCM explains that the HEAP CAC provides for the purchase and installation of air conditioners and fans. Read More

Cancer Evaluations Undergo Changes
June 23, 2015
SSA is revising, effective July 20, 2015, the disability Listings criteria for cancer, formerly categorized under the heading of Malignant Neoplastic Diseases. SSA extends the expiration date of the current Listings 13 and 113, which were finalized October 6, 2009, effective November 5, 2009, until that date. Read More

Can Migraines Equal a Listing?
June 23, 2015
Every now and then, we are reminded of helpful nuggets in the POMS or HALLEX, previously overlooked or long forgotten. How about POMS DI 24505.015, which reminds adjudicators to consider equivalency to the epilepsy listing at 110.03 when reviewing migraine headache claims? Read More

Listing Changes for Blood Disorders Issued
June 23, 2015
SSA adopted final rules, effective May 18, 2015, updating the Hematological Disorder Listings for adults and children found at 7.00 and 107.00. Read More

SSA Updates Overpayment POMS
June 23, 2015
In the past year, SSA has made revisions to a number of POMS sections governing overpayments: Read More

OIG Studies Overpayments
June 23, 2015
SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reviewed the records of 1,532 disabled beneficiaries between 2003 through 2014, and determined 44.5% of them had overpayments assessed during that time. The highest percentage of overpayments (37%) resulted from work activity or changes in income, with 23% caused by medical improvement. Read More

Study Focuses on Primary Disabling Impairments
June 23, 2015
An article published in the Social Security Bulletin focuses on the relationship between employment and earnings of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries and working-age Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and their primary impairments. Read More

ALJ Halts CDR While Client in Ticket to Work Program
June 23, 2015
Attorney Kyla L. Ratliff of the Poughkeepsie office of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley recently convinced an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that SSA lacked jurisdiction to initiate a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) because her client was enrolled in the Ticket To Work Program (TTWP). Read More

Autism Spectrum Case Approved
June 23, 2015
Alan Block of Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo reports a favorable ALJ decision for a teenager with autism. Alan credits the strong evaluations he obtained from his client’s special education teachers. Read More

ME Emphasizes Complications Due to Lead Poisoning
June 23, 2015
Medical Experts (MEs) are appearing more frequently these days, sometimes hurting and sometimes helping our cases. Cate Lynch of the Rochester office of the Empire Justice Center recently encountered an ME who helped. Read More

Second Circuit Awards EAJA Fees
June 23, 2015
North Country lawyer Mark Schneider must live by the adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” After Mark was successful on an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from an unfavorable District Court decision, he found himself back at the Circuit challenging the same District Court’s denial of his application for attorney’s fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Remarkably, Mark was successful on both trips to the Second Circuit. Read More

Is RFC's "Fair" Foul?
June 23, 2015
Medical source statements using categories such as “fair” or “moderate” can often cause confusion at hearings with vocational testimony and in ALJ decisions. What are the real meanings of those terms and how were they defined—or not defined—in a particular case? Read More

Equitable Tolling Applied to Save Federal Cases
June 23, 2015
Every attorney’s nightmare is missing a filing deadline and dooming a plaintiff’s case to dismissal. In addition to a claimant losing the right to his or her day in court to pursue legitimate grievances, the specter of attorney malpractice hovers, giving us all the shivers. Two recent cases from the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York presented situations that could have turned out very badly for the Social Security plaintiffs, and their attorneys. Read More

Court Remands to Consider Functioning Outside Structured Setting
June 23, 2015
In children’s SSI cases, the Commissioner’s regulations require consideration of how well a child functions both within and outside the confines of any structured setting, such as a special education classroom or a day treatment program. Read More

Magistrate Judge Remands for Calculation of Benefits
June 23, 2015
Magistrate Judge Marian Payson of the Western District of New York not only decided the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) erred in finding a child SSI claimant not disabled; she determined the ALJ reached his mistaken conclusion on an otherwise complete record. She remanded the claim for the calculation of benefits. Read More

Get Your Medical Records Electronically!
June 23, 2015
In the March edition of this newsletter, we sang the praises of Michelle Spadafore and Amy Leipziger for their success in persuading Healthport and IOD to waive copying fees for legal services providers. Read More

Web News - June 2015
June 23, 2015
NOSSCR Search Tool Shines; Want Access to Client's SSP Info? There's A Form for That; CFPB Publishes Fact Sheet on Garnishment Protections; Get All the SSA Data You May Not Want Read More

Institute of Medicine Recommends Validity Testing
June 23, 2015
SSA currently prohibits the use of symptom validity testing (SVT). See POMS DI 22510.006.D, precluding the purchase of SVT to address questions of credibility or malingering. According to the POMS, “there is no test that, when passed or failed, conclusively determines the presence of inaccurate self-reporting.” Read More

How Much is Property in Puerto Rico Worth?
June 23, 2015
No, we are not in the market for a vacation home. Rather, the issue of valuation of foreign property comes up when trying to show that your SSI client does not have excess resources. Thanks to Mika Aoyama, a paralegal in NYLAG’s DAP unit, for sharing the following information on how to get information on the value of property in Puerto Rico. Read More

End Note - June 2015
Stand Up!
June 23, 2015
How many hours each day are you standing up or moving around at work? According to a recent Washington Post article, experts say you should be up and about at least two hours, and better yet, four. But the average office worker sits about ten hours a day, and then may go home and sit some more. 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

Bulletin Board
October 31, 2017
Astrue v. Capato; Shalala v. Schaefer; Lesterhuis v. Colvin; Talavera v. Astrue Read More

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