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Disability Law News - June 2011 Issue


Articles in this Issue

Child's Case Reversed and Benefits Paid
June 15, 2011
A recent case in the Southern District of New York, Miles ex rel. J.M. v. Astrue, 2011 WL 1331921 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 8, 2011), presented an interesting scenario where a minor claimant with severe speech and language problems had been denied benefits because he did not meet or functionally equal the listings. Read More

The New York City Bar Honors DAP Advocate
June 15, 2011
The New York City Bar Association named Betty Heaton, a Senior Legal Assistant/Social Worker for Manhattan Legal Services, as a recipient of the 22nd Annual Legal Services Award. Read More

12.05 Argument Prevails
June 15, 2011
“Buffalo Bruce” Caulfield of Neighborhood Legal Services does it again! Bruce successfully represented a claimant at the Appeals Council who had appeared pro se at his first hearing, accompanied only by his wife, who was an SSI recipient based on her own mental impairments. Bruce convinced the Appeals Council that the ALJ had erred in finding Drug or Alcohol Addiction (DA&A) a contributing factor material to the claim of disability. Read More

Appeals Council Overturns Overpayment Decision
June 15, 2011
Attorney Maro Constantinou from MFY Legal Services’ Mental Health Law Project in New York City not only convinced the Appeals Council to reverse a $35,811.60 overpayment finding against his client; he also managed to secure a refund of the $16,000 the client had already paid back while the appeal was pending! Read More

New HALLEX Provisions Published
June 15, 2011
SSA has recently published revisions to several HALLEX sections. Changes to the HALLEX - ODAR’s (the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) “Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law” Manual - are listed as “Transmittals” at Read More

Remand Results in Partial Victory
June 15, 2011
In another herculean effort by Buffalo Bruce Caulfield of Neighborhood Legal Services, the Appeals Council agreed to remand a case that Bruce appealed. The ALJ had denied Bruce’s client, finding that she was capable of sedentary work. In fact, the ALJ had suggested to Bruce before the hearing that the claimant should withdraw her hearing request, since that is what he intended to find! Read More

Bulletin Board - June 2011
June 15, 2011
This "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

Clark Instructions Issued
June 15, 2011
SSA has issued an Emergency Message (EM) on May 9, 2011, implementing Clark v. Astrue, the class action challenging the suspension or denial of benefits based solely on a probation or parole arrest warrant. Read More

Class Action Filed Alleging ALJ Bias in Queens
June 15, 2011
Advocates in New York City welcomed a class action filed in April against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the denial of full and fair hearings. Read More

Web News - June 2011
June 15, 2011
NYSBA Announces New Attorney Resource Page; SSA Website Provides Benefit Estimator; What Does Social Security Reform Mean for the Disabled?; Presentation on Dually Eligible Beneficiaries Read More

Can You Guess the Most Common Job Titles?
June 15, 2011
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced preliminary results of its “Occupational and Medical-Vocational Claims Review Study.” The study, undertaken by SSA’s Office of Program Development and Research (OPDR), is part of SSA’s effort to develop its own occupational information system for disability determinations - in other words, replace the obsolete Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). Read More

Attorney Advisor Extended; Listing Amended; DRB Ended
June 15, 2011
SSA’s attorney advisor program was slated to end in August 2011. Because of the success of the program, SSA is extending it for two years until August 13, 2013. Read More

New ODAR Security Procedures: Protection or Pretense?
June 15, 2011
In 2010, SSA received 2,777 reports of threats to employees across all offices, an increase of 43% from the previous year. As a result of the increasing number of threats made against hearing office employees, SSA recently implemented a set of interim final rules with request for comments aimed at explicitly increasing the level of protection provided for staff and the public during the hearing process. Read More

Proposed Regulations Impact Treating Physician Rule
June 15, 2011
Under current regulations, SSA’s decision makers are required to give more weight to evidence from a claimant’s treating sources. Read More

Revision Eliminates Diabetes from Endocrine Listing
June 15, 2011
The Social Security Administration (SSA) adopted final rules that result in drastic changes to the listings in the endocrine body system: current Listings 9.02 through 9.08 are eliminated. Read More

End Note - June 2011
Too Much Information?
June 15, 2011
Do you feel bombarded by information? Do you seek out all information you can find before deciding which car to buy, which route to take on your next vacation, or whether Orbitz or Travelocity offers the best airline tickets? Read More

SSA Faces Budget Woes
June 15, 2011
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue has been touting his success at reducing the hearing backlog at ODAR (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). But are those processing times about to start creeping up again? Read More

SSA Issues POMS Re Special Notices for the Blind
June 15, 2011
Social Security issued new POMS in May 2011 detailing “Special Notice” options for the blind and visually impaired. Read More

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