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Disability Law News - January 2009 Issue


Articles in this Issue

New SSI Trainings Added to the ORC
January 1, 2009
Recently added to the ORC are two new SSI trainings that were recorded at the 2008 Partnership Conference. Read More

2009 Tax Credit Outreach Campaign Kit Now Available
January 1, 2009
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is pleased to announce the availability of the 2009 Tax Credit Outreach Campaign Kit. This resource is intended to provide community groups, housing and social service agencies and employers with the materials and information needed to conduct community outreach efforts promoting the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Read More

The American with Disabilities Act Amendments in Effect
January 1, 2009
The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA) went into effect on January 1, 2009. The Act makes important changes to the definition of the term "disability" by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Read More

Child’s Claim Granted Following Third Hearing
January 1, 2009
After three hearings, a soon to be fifteen year old will finally receive SSI. The child applied for Supplemental Security (SSI) in 2001, alleging ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Read More

Northern District Judge Remands Kids’ SSI Cases
January 1, 2009
Chief Judge Norman A. Mordue recently issued Memorandum Decisions and Orders in two children’s SSI cases handled by Louise Tarantino of the Empire Justice Center. Both cases had been pending at the District Court for nearly four years. Although both cases were remanded, the Judge made specific recommendations in each as to what should occur at the hearing level. Read More

ALJ Statistics Make Waves
January 1, 2009
hanks to Chris Bowes of CeDar in New York City and Jim Murphy of Legal Services of Central New York in Cortland, advocates can readily review the case outcome statistics of their favorite Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). Chris tracked down a website set up as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request made by The Oregonian. It allows users to plug in the name of a particular ALJ from anywhere in the county and learn his or her reversal and approval rates. Read More

ALJ’s DA&A Materiality Finding Overturned
January 1, 2009
Some ALJ decisions can be truly mind boggling - and sometimes even the Appeals Council seems to recognize that. Case in point: a recent decision received by Al Lowman of Legal Advocacy for the Disabled at Erie County Department of Social Services in which the ALJ had determined that DA&A (drug or alcohol addiction) was material because the claimant was addicted to methadone. Read More

Compassionate Allowance Comes Too Late
January 1, 2009
An article in the November 2008 edition of the Disability Law News described SSA Commissioner Astrue’s “Compassionate Allowance” initiative. At least one advocate took the Commissioner up on his offer of expediting the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards. Read More

Another Remand Makes a Trifecta
January 1, 2009
Chief Judge Norman A. Mordue issued another remand order in a case handled by Louise Tarantino and Rob Cisneros of the Empire Justice Center. Judge Mordue determined that the ALJ erred in finding that the plaintiff’s mental impairment was not severe. As a result, the ALJ’s residual functional capacity (RFC) determination was erroneous because he failed to consider any of the mental impairments. Read More

Check Out Your CEs
January 1, 2009
Consultative examiners (CEs) hired by SSA (Social Security Administration) can sometimes break – or occasionally – make a case. Just who are these hired guns? Read More

Court Holds Learning Disability Can Be Secondary Impairment
January 1, 2009
A learning disability can be an impairment in its own right separate from mental retardation, and can thus constitute a “secondary” impairment under the listing for mental retardation, 112.05D. Southern District of New York Judge John Koeltl relied on both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV - TR and Social Security’s own directives to its adjudicators, as well as other court decision, for this holding. Read More

Web News - January 2009
January 1, 2009
ODAR Statistics You Can Use, Doctor Licensing Questions, Websites Doctors Like, 2009 Social Security Fact Sheet, and NY Times on Language and Disabilities. Read More

NYS Proposes State Supplement Decrease
January 1, 2009
By now, we all know that New York State’s financial picture is horrifying, awful, dreadful, appalling, terrible, abysmal, and as many other synonyms that you can come up with. We also think that the State’s budget proposal to make up some of its billions of dollars shortfall by reducing the small state supplement paid to SSI recipients is equally appalling, dreadful, and the rest of those same synonyms. Read More

DAP Advocate Comes Out of Retirement to Win Remand
January 1, 2009
Many advocates around the state will remember DAP diva, Dorothy Barber, a paralegal in Rochester who “retired” several years ago. Dorothy was recently called out of retirement to help cover various maternity leaves at the Empire Justice Center. She quickly proved that she has not lost her touch. Read More

But They’re Cousins...
January 1, 2009
If you can remember the theme song to “The Patty Duke Show,” popular on 1960s television, then you are closely approaching retirement age yourself! Read More

Download Available for Listening to Appeals Council CDs
January 1, 2009
In this new digital age, the days of listening to hearing tapes forwarded from the Appeals Council are long over. Read More

Protective Filing Period Shortened
January 1, 2009
SSA proposes “to revise our rules for protective filing after we receive a written statement of intent to claim Social Security benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (the Act). Read More

SSI Income and Resources Changes Proposed
January 1, 2009
Although SSA announced in the December 9, 2008 Federal Register (73 Fed. Reg. 74663), that it was making “technical” revisions to the SSI income and resources regulations, at least one of the proposed changes is fairly significant, in our opinion. Read More

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