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Disability Law News - March 2014 Issue


Articles in this Issue

New Chronic Fatigue SSR Issued
April 16, 2014
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has rescinded Social Security Ruling (SSR) 99-2p on “Evaluating Cases Involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and replaced it with SSR14-1p. The new SSR reflects advances in medical knowledge about CFS since 1999, and reorganizes and expands upon the prior ruling. Overall, however, it retains SSA’s focus on the need to establish CFS as a “medically determinable impairment” (MDI) by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory techniques. Read More

2014 Deeming Charts Published
April 16, 2014
Does your SSI client have a spouse who is working? Or is your client a child SSI recipient with a parent who is working, or receiving SSD, VA or some other government benefits? Read More

VA Directive Replaced
April 16, 2014
In the March 2013 edition of the Disability Law News, we reported that advocates were having some success in getting information from the Department of Veterans Affairs by using the VA’s disability benefit questionnaires (DBQ). The forms are designed as part of the VA’s own disability benefits program. Read More

SSI Restoration Bill Introduced
April 16, 2014
Wouldn’t it be great to see the SSI resource limitation increased? Or some of SSI’s squirrely income and resource rules updated? New legislation recently introduced in Congress could effectuate some much needed changes to the program. The Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2014 was introduced March 6th in the U.S. Senate by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The bill, championed by the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC),would fix key elements of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that currently make life difficult for millions of low-income older adults. Read More

SSA and NYS Focus on Veterans' Claims
April 16, 2014
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has launched a new disability process to expedite disability claims filed by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total. Under the new process, SSA will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. Read More

SSA Tells Claimants: Submit all Evidence
April 16, 2014
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is proposing to “clarify” its regulations to require claimants to inform the agency about or submit all evidence known to them that relates to their disability claims. This obligation would extend, by reference, to a claimant’s representative, subject to exceptions for certain privileged communications. Read More

Neurological Listings Changes Proposed
April 16, 2014
SSA has proposed changes to the Neurological Listing, 11.00 (adults) and 111.00 (children). 79 Fed. Reg. 10636 (Feb. 25, 2014). Read More

Revisions to Immune Disorder Listings, HIV Evaluations
April 16, 2014
SSA is also proposing to revise the criteria in its Listings used for evaluating HIV claims for adults and children, and functional limitations for all immune disorders Read More

Save the Date! 2014 Partnership Conference
April 16, 2014
The Partnership Conference will be held September 10-12, 2014. For those of you who can’t wait until next September for training and/or CLE credit, we have many training videos on the Online Resource Center that cover basic and advanced disability topics. Read More

Expiration Dates for Numerous Listings Extended
April 16, 2014
SSA announced that it was extending expiration dates for numerous listings. Read More

Second Circuit Remands Citing Treating Physician Rule
April 16, 2014
If you follow the happenings at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, you know that the Court has been somewhat stingy in reversing and remanding District Court Social Security decisions. Read More

District Court Reverses, Remands Kids' SSI Case
April 16, 2014
Our friends at Partnership for Children’s Rights in New York City have also been experiencing some success in children’s SSI cases in federal court. Read More

Visiting N.D.N.Y. Judge Remands Child's Case
April 16, 2014
In another part of the state, the N.D.N.Y., Mary Withington from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, also felt the rush of success in a child’s SSI case by getting a remand. Read More

Childhood Functional Assessment Forms Shared
April 16, 2014
Advocates at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia have shared their newly revised childhood SSI Disability Functional Questionnaires. These forms were designed by Jonathan Stein and Richard Weishaupt, who litigated the seminal Zebley case, with input from Bob Lukens. Read More

ALJ Lawsuite Dismissed
April 16, 2014
The ALJ Union took another blow in December, when the Office of Personnel Management approved a revised "position description" (PD) for ALJs, Hearing Office Chief ALJs, and Hearing Center Chief ALJs. Read More

Second Circuit Rules Amended
April 16, 2014
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has amended several of its local rules, effective February 1, 2014. Read More

New SSI Rules Issued for Same-Sex Marriages
April 16, 2014
The Social Security Administration continues to amend its rules and regulations post Windsor, the Supreme Court case striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Read More

Foreclosure Guidance Extended
April 16, 2014
The June 2013 edition of this newsletter highlighted AM (Administrative Message) 9060, which provides guidance on resource and In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) evaluations for homes in foreclosure. Read More

Treating Attorney Credited
April 16, 2014
Advocates know only too well how difficult it can be to convince an ALJ to give great weight to opinions of treating sources. Attorney Keith Morgenheim of Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo not only persuaded an ALJ to credit his client’s treating physician. The ALJ gave great weight to Keith’s opinion as well! Read More

SSA Delays Field Office Service Charges
April 16, 2014
In the December 2013 edition of this newsletter, we reported on proposed changes to services offered by SSA Field Offices. SSA announced that effective February 2013, it would no longer provide Social Security number (SSN) printouts and benefit verification information in field offices. Read More

OIG Reports on Appeals Council and DDS
April 16, 2014
In its March 7, 2014 Report, SSA’s Office of Inspector General identified steps that the Appeals Council could take to increase productivity. Read More

SSA Revises HALLEX on Dismissals
April 16, 2014
How many times have you helped a claimant appeal a dismissal of a hearing request where the claimant never received a copy of the hearing notice? Or because the claimant showed up late to the hearing office? Read More

Let it Snow
April 16, 2014
According to SSA, 4,861 hearings were postponed during January and February due to weather. Read More

SSA Opens 504 Compliance Office
April 16, 2014
The Social Security Administration has announced the creation of the new Center for Section 504 Compliance.  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and requires the federal government to provide individuals with meaningful access to government facilities, programs, and services. Read More

FIT No Longer Fit?
April 16, 2014
Rumors reported in the December 2103 Disability Law News are now confirmed: FIT - or “Findings Integrated Template” - is no more. Representatives will no longer be able to submit proposed findings of fact and decisional language. Read More

Is Probate Necessary?
April 16, 2014
What if an SSI recipient dies leaving funds in a bank account? Is it necessary to go to Surrogate’s Court to probate a will or ask for intestate administration in order to distribute funds to the deceased recipient’s heirs? Read More

Web News - March 2014
April 16, 2014
VE Handbook Available; Brookdale Center Checklist Online; New VOLS Website; Free Dental Care in the Capital District Read More

End Note - March 2014
Just Say No
April 16, 2014
The title of New Yorker editor Bob Mankoff’s new memoir recalls his famous cartoon: a man speaking into a telephone, who says “No, Thursday’s out. How about never? Is never good for you?” How many of us haven’t wanted to use that response when hounded to schedule a meeting or take on a new task? But not many of us are that creative at saying no. 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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