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January 2017 Disability Law News


Articles in this Issue

SSA Pays Small COLA for 2017
January 31, 2017
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 0.3 percent in 2017 due to a very small increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Read More

SSA Discontinues Paper Statements
January 31, 2017
On January 9, 2017, the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Communications released a blog detailing recent changes in SSA services. Read More

DAP Advocate Takes Major Steps
January 31, 2017
Long-time DAP stalwart David Ralph of the Elmira office of LawNY took some major steps last year. Last Spring, David married Linda and simultaneously announced his retirement. Read More

Changes Afoot at SSA
January 31, 2017
On Friday, January 20, 2017, Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin resigned. Nancy A. Berryhill, Deputy Commissioner for Operations (DCO), will serve as Acting Commissioner based on SSA’s succession plan. Read More

Mental Impairment Listings Now In Effect
January 31, 2017
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new Mental Impairment Listings went into effect on January 17, 2017. Read More

Final Regulations on NICS Database Issued
January 31, 2017
SSA issued final rules implementing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. Read More

HIV Listings Finalized
January 31, 2017
In February 2014, and corrected in March 2014, SSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Listings 14.00 and 114.00, used to evaluate claims involving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children. On December 2, 2016, the agency issued final rules adopting the proposed Listings except for some changes incorporating comments. Read More

Correction Made to Expedite Reinstatement Revisions
January 31, 2017
Back on October 17, 2016, SSA revised the Expedited Reinstatement rules to allow a person to request reinstatement in the month s/he stops doing SGA instead of having to wait a month. Read More

Five Day Requirement Finalized
January 31, 2017
In another example of the Social Security Administration (SSA) acting with amazing haste, it published its final “program uniformity” regulations on December 16, 2017. Read More

QDD and CAL Authority Continues
January 31, 2017
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) requires termination of the “single decision-maker” (SDM) authority for State Agencies (DDD in NY) making initial and, where applicable, reconsideration disability determinations. Read More

Proposed Rule on Attorney Conduct Withdrawn
January 31, 2017
On January 9, 2017, SSA withdrew its set of proposed final regulations on Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed Representatives from review by the Office of Management and Budget. Read More

iAppeals: A Rival to iTunes?
January 31, 2017
In December 2016, the Social Security Administration (SSA) added a piece to its online service. “iAppeals” allows individuals to file a request for reconsideration or a request for hearing for non-medical/non-disability related issues. Read More

Colvin Out; Berryhill In
January 31, 2017
As reported in this newsletter, Nancy A. Berryhill is the new Acting Commissioner of Social Security. She should be named as defendant in newly filed U.S. District Court appeals. Read More

Second Circuit Reverses on Duration Issue
January 31, 2017
In Cutter v. Colvin --- Fed.Appx. ---- , 2016 WL 7234685 (2d Cir. Dec. 14, 2016), Mr. Cutter appealed an unfavorable district court decision addressing the preclusionary effect of substantial gainful activity (SGA) in a disability determination. Read More

Late Complaint Allowed as Timely Filed
January 31, 2017
We have cautioned in the past that missing appeals deadlines will at least cause some agita, if not outright panic. Those situations call for creative lawyering, as evidenced by a recent N.D.N.Y case. Read More

CE Lawsuit Settled
January 31, 2017
The U.S. District Court in San Francisco has preliminarily approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit that challenged the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reliance on a Bay Area consultative examiner whose reports were unprofessional and often incomplete and inaccurate. Read More

Web News - January 2017
January 31, 2017
"Pickle" People Qualify for Medicaid; SSA Partners with VA to Improve Services; Baltimore Payment Center Contact Info; Wayback Machine Archive Saves the Day Read More

SSA Field Offices Customer Waiting Times on the Rise
January 31, 2017
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of the Inspector General issued a report in December 2016 documenting customer wait times at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) field offices. “Customer Waiting Times in the Social Security Administration's Field Offices” -Report Number: A-04-17-50216. Read More

Requesting Correctional Facilities Records
January 31, 2017
Advocates face endless challenges requesting medical records to support their clients’ disability claims, and complying with the Social Security Administration’s “all evidence rules.” Read More

SSA Public Affairs Specialists Available
January 31, 2017
Did you know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has Public Affairs Specialists (PAS) who might be able to answer your questions or even run interference with a District Office? Read More

End Note - January 2017
Are You Bored at Meetings?
January 31, 2017
If you find yourself bored at meetings, maybe it’s because you shouldn’t be there. Researchers have found meetings that appear to drag on too long or fail to engage participants might be the result of the wrong mix or number of people at the meeting. Read More

"Treating Physician" Regulations Eviscerated
January 31, 2017
In seemingly record time, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) - Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical Evidence - published in the Federal Register on September 9, 2016, became final on January 18, 2017. 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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