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Disability Law News - October 2017 Issue


 

Articles in this Issue

Governor Cuomo Signs Law Ensuring Free
October 31, 2017
Disabled New Yorkers scored an important victory with the passage and enactment of legislation (A7842/S6078) that will streamline the process to obtain medical records needed to support applications for government benefits free of charge. Governor Cuomo signed the bills into law on September 13, 2017. Read More

SSA Pays 2.0 Percent COLA for 2018
October 31, 2017
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, a welcome change from very small cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in recent years. Read More

SSR 17-4p Muddies the Waters
October 31, 2017
In recent years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has published two sets of regulations ramping up the responsibility of claimants and their representatives to develop evidence in disability claims in a timely manner. Read More

ODAR Now OHO
October 31, 2017
There are those of us who were still getting used to the transition to ODAR (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) from OHA (Office of Hearings and Appeals). But as of October 1, 2017, ODAR is no more. Read More

New Social Security Ruling on Sickle Cell Disease
October 31, 2017
SSA issued Social Security Ruling (SSR) 17-3p, “Titles II and XVI: Evaluating Cases Involving Sickle Cell Disease (SCD),” effective September 15, 2017. It provides basic background information about SCD and its variants and guidance on how SSA adjudicators should consider evidence regarding this impairment in a simple Q&A format. Read More

SSR 16-3p Revised
October 31, 2017
Is “effective date” different than “applicable date”? Yes, according to the Office of the Federal Register. In response, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has revised Social Security Ruling (SSR) 16-3p, to reflect the change in terminology from “effective” to “applicable.” Read More

Attorney Advisor Program Extended
October 31, 2017
SSA extended the attorney advisor program for six months, with a new sunset date of February 5, 2018. Attorney advisors are authorized to conduct certain prehearing proceedings and to issue fully favorable decisions. Read More

Neurological Disorder Listings Corrected
October 31, 2017
SSA announced a minor correction to section 11.00H.4. in the preamble of the Listing on Neurological Disorders. This Listing was last amended a year ago, effective September 29, 2016. Read More

New Compassionate Allowances Issued
October 31, 2017
On September 7, 2017, SSA announced the addition of three new Compassionate Allowance (CAL) Conditions. Read More

Emergency Message Clarifies Thrid Party Can Assist with Claims Filing
October 31, 2017
SSA issued Emergency Message (EM)-17032 on October 11, 2017. The EM clarifies that a third party can help a claimant file for disability benefits by completing an iClaim for DIB or DIB/SSI. Read More

HALLEX Sections Updated
October 31, 2017
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made some changes to and added HALLEX sections. Read More

NY ABLE Open for Business
October 31, 2017
The New York State “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (NY ABLE) program began enrolling participants this past August. NY ABLE is the culmination of federal and state legislation allowing people with disabilities the opportunity to save money without losing essential benefits and services. Read More

2d Circuit Remands for Consideration of SGA
October 31, 2017
When is past work relevant at Step four of SSA’s Sequential Evaluation for determining disability? When it was performed within the past fifteen years, lasted long enough for the claimant to learn how to perform it, and was substantial gainful activity. Read More

ALJ Required to Develop Record
October 31, 2017
The Second Circuit reaffirmed the ALJ’s duty to develop the record, even if the claimant is represented, in Guillen v. Berryhill, 2017 WL 4279335, --- Fed. App’x --- (2d Cir. Sept. 27, 2017). Read More

ALJ Failed to Determine Transferability of Skills
October 31, 2017
According to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the crucial factors in any disability determination must be set forth with sufficient specificity to enable to court to determine whether the determination is based on substantial evidence. Read More

N.D.N.Y. Remands Two Claims
October 31, 2017
Mike Telfer, Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Northern New York in Albany, convinced U.S. District Court Glenn Suddaby to order remand in not just one but two appeals in the past two months. Read More

OIG Studies ALJ Productivity and Allowance Rates
October 31, 2017
Two recent reports by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) studied trends in ALJ productivity and allowance rates. Read More

ALJ Grants Claim Under New 12.05 Listing
October 31, 2017
Advocates should be aware by now that new mental impairment listings have been in effect since January. Among other changes, the new listings revised the criteria for evaluating intellectual disorders. Read More

No, It's Not Your Immagination
October 31, 2017
If you are thinking it is getting harder to win claims, you are right. Read More

Appeals Council Remands for IQ Test
October 31, 2017
Marty Roberts of the Geneva office of LawNY does not give up easily. Her client had been represented by Jody Davis, now retired from LawNY, who had argued equivalency to Listing 12.05C based on intellectual disabilities. Read More

Appeals Council Reverses Based on New Evidence
October 31, 2017
Attorney Sarah Frederick of Buffalo and former DAP attorney Cate Lynch have joined the one percent. They actually persuaded the Appeals Council to reverse an ALJ decision, which happens in only one percent of claims reviewed by the Appeals Council. Read More

Communication Rescues Claim
October 31, 2017
Sometimes the long wait for a hearing can be put to good use. Jessica Woodhouse of the Bath office of LawNY used the eight months between meeting her client and his hearing to coach him on how to better communicate with his medical sources, resulting in a fully favorable decision. Read More

District Office Homelessness Coordinators Listed
October 31, 2017
Did you know that each Social Security District Office has a specially designated homelessness coordinator? Read More

Web News - October 2017
October 31, 2017
SSA Disability Insurance Chart Book Available; Updated Family Court Resource Translated into Seven Language Read More

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

End Note - October 2017
Don't Just Sit There!
October 31, 2017
According to a recent New York Times article, sitting for long stretches might shorten your life. A study conducted by scientists from Columbia University and many other institutions relied on extensive data on tens of thousands of Caucasian and African-American men and women over 45 who were part of a stroke risk study. Read More

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