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Disability Law News - September 2010 Issue



Articles in this Issue

Advocates Prevail in Federal Court Children's SSI Cases
September 27, 2010
In a trio of recent federal court decisions, several advocates were successful in getting unfavorable Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decisions reversed and cases remanded for further proceedings, including one for the calculation of benefits. Read More

Children's Disability Issues Featured in Clearinghouse Review
September 27, 2010
Several experienced disability advocates authored the article “Social Security Rulings - Guiding Hand in SSI Childhood Disability Evaluations,” that is featured in the July-August 2010 issue of the Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty law and Policy. Read More

Attorney Advisor Hold UIB Does Not Bar Disability Benefits
September 27, 2010
In another victory for Buffalo Bruce Caulfield, an Attorney Advisor issued a fully favorable decision for his client, who suffers from debilitating effects of a mastectomy, along with back problems and depression. Read More

Chief ALJ Reminds Adjudicators of Evidentiary Rules
September 27, 2010
Chief Administrative Law Judge Frank Cristaudo, in a May 2010 Memorandum to Regional Chief ALJs, reminds the Regional Chiefs, ALJs, and Attorney Advisers about weighing the evidence in states such as New York using the single decision-maker (SDM) model for adjudication. Read More

Posthumous Benefits Paid Eight Years Late
September 27, 2010
It took seven years, and the client died in the meantime, but advocates at the Southern Tier Legal Services (STLS) office of LAWNY in Bath persevered. Jeff Nieznanski reports that they first met their client, who had applied in 2002 for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits, in 2003, when he was 28 years old. Read More

Roommates Not Holding Out as a Couple
September 27, 2010
Victor Torres, Disability Unit Director at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation “A,” reports on an interesting decision involving an unmarried couple who are living together as roommates. Read More

Appeals Council "Reopens" Earlier Claim
September 27, 2010
Thanks to the efforts of Buffalo Bruce Caulfield of Neighborhood Legal Services, his client will enjoy several more years of retroactive and SSI Child’s Disability Benefits (CDB, formerly known as DAC) and SSI. Read More

Appeals Council Remand HIV Case
September 27, 2010
LJ Fisher of the Rochester office of the Empire Justice Center recently managed to undo a double wrong. Read More

Court Relies on Retrospective Evidence to "Infer" Onset
September 27, 2010
No matter how disabled a claimant currently is, it can be difficult - if not impossible in some cases - to prove that the disability began before the claimant’s entitlement to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI - or Title II) benefits expired. Read More

What Is...Sleep Apnea
September 27, 2010
According to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), sleep apnea is a disorder in which pauses in breathing or shallow breaths occur, lasting from a few seconds to as long as a few minutes. Read More

SSI Refugees Lose Benefits
September 27, 2010
The temporary relief provided to refugees whose seven year time limit for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) eligibility was just that – temporary. Advocates will recall previous articles outlining the “SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act” (“Extension Act,” Public Law 110-328) signed into law on September 30, 2008, by then President Bush. Read More

Debit Cards Issued by Social Security Raise Scam Opportunities
September 27, 2010
The Social Security Administration is moving more and more towards electronic payments via direct deposits or debit cards in lieu of paper checks. See the July 2009 edition of the Disability Law News regarding Direct Express debit cards. Read More

Consultative Examiner (CE) Data Available for Sleuths?
September 27, 2010
As disability advocates, we are all aware that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses consultative examiners (CE) to conduct medical evaluations of claimants as part of the disability process. Read More

Appealing Favorable Prehearing Decisions???
September 27, 2010
SSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on July 22, 2010, asking for comments on its revised procedures for claimants to ask for further review of partially favorable prehearing decisions. Read More

Have a HEART: SSI Income and Resources Rules Changed
September 27, 2010
An announcement in the September 7, 2010 Federal Register (75 Fed. Reg. 54285) indicates that the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued regulatory revisions without advance notice or comment, “to incorporate improvements to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program made by the HEART Act. Read More

Let's Make a Date: SSA to Schedule ALJ Hearings
September 27, 2010
So SSA has finally figured out that not all of its ALJs are working to maximum capability. After citing an example of an unnamed ALJ from New England who “scheduled no hearings for many years,” the agency is proposing a three-year pilot program that allows it to set the time and place for an ALJ hearing. Read More

New Mental Impairment Listings Proposed
September 25, 2010
Social Security has proposed regulations that, if adopted, would result in significant changes to the criteria in the Listing of Impairments used to evaluate claims involving mental disorder in adults and children. Read More

Numerous Listings Extended
September 27, 2010
Without making any changes to the substance of its Listing of Impairments, on June 11, 2010, SSA announced that it was extending the expiration of several of the Listings. Read More

Stepchildren's Eligibility for Benefits Revised
September 27, 2010
SSA is issuing a final rule on when stepchildren are eligible for benefits. In the August 27, 2010 Federal Register (75 Fed. Reg. 52619), SSA noted that it is “revising our regulations to reflect changes made in the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 (CAAA) to the entitlement and termination requirements for Social Security child’s benefits to stepchildren. Read More

You Say "Wholly," I Say "Fully"
September 27, 2010
In an apparent effort at consistency, SSA made some technical language changes to its regulations to replace the word “wholly” with the word “fully” when the agency describes the favorable or unfavorable nature of determinations or decisions made on claims for benefits. Read More

Phone Numbers Available
September 27, 2010
As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, SSA has opened four National Hearing Centers (NHCs) in Falls Church, Virginia; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; and Baltimore, Maryland. SSA expects to open a fifth National Hearing Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in the near future as part of its efforts to reduce the hearing backlog. Read More

Web News - September 2010
September 27, 2010
Find State-by-State Food Stamp Data; Follow a Step-by-Step Guide to the NYSARC Pooled SNT; Maximizing Health Benefits for DAP Clients; Free Graphics Software Easy-to-Use Read More

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