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Disability Law News - March 2009 Issue



Articles in this Issue

How Do SSI Recipients Fare at Age 18 Reviews?
March 1, 2009
A report published in the Employment and Disability Institute Collection, presents some findings that might not be surprising to advocates who have represented SSI recipients at their “age 18” reviews. Read More

Childhood SSRs Issues
March 1, 2009
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published new Social Security Rulings (SSRs) dealing with the evaluation of functional equivalency in childhood disability claims and continuing disability reviews (CDRs). Read More

Closed Period Reconsidered
March 1, 2009
Buffalo Bruce Caulfield, in yet another feat, convinced the Appeals Council to reverse and remand a case in which the claimant had stipulated to a closed period of disability. Read More

GAF Scores: Help or Hindrance?
March 1, 2009
How many of us have cited low GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scores as indicators of disability in our mental impairment cases? We see a lot of hands out there. Now, how many times have Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) cited moderate to high GAF scores as an indication that a claimant can function and is therefore not disabled? Yes, lots of hands again. Read More

HALLEX Provisions Re Proffers Revised
March 1, 2009
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it will be revising HALLEX 1-2-5-57 to reflect that Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) will no longer need to proffer proposed pre and post hearing interrogatories to medical experts (MEs) and vocational experts (VEs) to claimants or representatives prior to submission. Read More

New Informational Letter Limits Medicaid Determinations
March 1, 2009
Medicaid determinations done by local Departments of Social Services can sometimes prove invaluable to pending Social Security and SSI disability claims. But it may be harder for advocates to take advantage of those determinations under a change in policy issued by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) last year. Read More

Appeals Council Reverses “Intemperate” ALJ
March 1, 2009
How often does the Appeals Council reverse an ALJ’s finding that a claimant can do work at the medium exertional level and replace it with its own determination that she is unable to perform even sedentary work? Not often – but that is exactly what happened in a case ably handled by Neighborhood Legal Services paralegal Buffalo Bruce Caulfield. We emphasize the paralegal in Bruce’s title since that seemed to be the particular focus of the ALJ’s ire in this case. Read More

Judge Declines Request for New ALJ
March 1, 2008
What does it take to convince a U.S. District Court judge to order Social Security to reassign a claim to a different Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on remand? Clearly more than what was presented to Judge Charles Siragusa of the Western District of New York in a recent case in which he refused to issue such an order. Read More

Receiving SSD No Bar to EEOC Suit
March 1, 2009
A federal court in Illinois recently decided that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) could not be blocked from continuing its pursuit of relief on behalf of a disabled sales manager employee because the employee had applied for and obtained Social Security disability benefits (SSD). Read More

Web News - March 2009
March 1, 2009
NLS Updates “At a Glance” Information, Find Answers on Doctor’s Disability Website, Social Security Practice Blog Informs and Entertains, Advice for Protecting SSNs. Read More

Economic Recovery Starts With SSA
March 1, 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Barack Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009, provides for a one-time pay-ment of $250 to people receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Read More

Overpayment Case Remanded
March 1, 2009
District Court judges generally do not consider overpayment cases as frequently as they review disability claims. As a result, advocates may have to “instruct” them on some of the basics of overpayment laws and regulations, as well as how benefits are calculated. That tactic paid off for Kate Callery of the Empire Justice Center in Rochester, on behalf of a pro se claimant who had been represented by a lay advocate at the hearing level in his overpayment case. Read More

Musculoskeletal Listings Extended
March 1, 2009
In an annual rite, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has extended a Listing due to expire, this time the Musculosceletal Listings, currently set to expire February 19, 2009. Read More

Send Your Problem Notices to NOSSCR
March 1, 2009
The National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) is looking for examples of some of the more egregious of these notices. According to the most recent edition of the NOSSCR Forum. Read More

SSA to Study DOT Replacement
March 1, 2008
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has assembled a federal advisory panel, the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP), to provide expert guidance to the Occupational Information Development Project (OIDP). SSA initiated the OIDP to work on replacing the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) with an occupational information system designed for SSA's disability programs. Notification of the formation of the panel was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 23, 2008. Read More

VA Docs Required to Respond to Requests
March 1, 2009
Advocates know all too well the challenges involved when attempting to get reports and evaluations from treating physicians. Multiply that by the bureaucracy involved in trying to get reports from the Veterans Administration (VA). Read More

State Supplements Slashed
March 1, 2009
New York State is proposing to reduce the state supplement payable to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients by $16 to $28. The cut is planned to go into effect June 1, 2009, unless the legislature takes some action or the Governor rescinds his proposal. Read More

NY Prescription Saver Card Applications Available
March 1, 2009
The application for the New York Prescription Saver (NYPS) Card, is now available. Read More

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