May 29, 2013

Every Little Way

     From EM-13017 issued last week:
SSA [Social Security Administration] is implementing changes to reduce the agency’s printing and mailing costs. We will stop enclosing appeal pamphlets with initial award and denial notices. The body of the notice includes a detailed explanation of the claimant’s appeal rights. We will make appeal pamphlets available upon request. We will no long include return envelopes and pamphlets with any copies of notices to appointed representatives.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

seems like a simple statmenent like "for further questions, please refer to www.ssa.gov/xxx" would suffice.

Anonymous said...

This is correct. The denial notices already contain an advisory about the claimant's appeal rights. Enclosing a separate pamphlet is a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that, a government agency wasting money!

Anonymous said...

SSA should also stop telling people they can appeal fully favorable decisions. I've never understood why they do that.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:18. In practice, it doesn't happen often, but I've seen a few FF decisions, where the claimant (advised by a rep and in writing) amended an onset date to a later date.

Then, when they get the award, seek an earlier onset date. So, even though they got a FF decision for a later onset date (which, by the way they agreed to), they still want more money, so they appeal and seek the original alleged onset date. It's a serious waste of resources, but it happens.

Anonymous said...

and I explain to them that this will be De Novo hearing and the ALJ may possibly take away the disability they already have. Can happen and has happened. Rep really enjoys paying back that fee to the Agency. Sometimes people just get a little too greeedy..

Anonymous said...

@11:13 AM. And I have handled a claim where a rep (unbeknowst to the claimant) went ahead and amended an onset date and a FF decision was then issued. We were able to appeal this decision and have the correct, earlier onset established. Sadly, nothing happened to the earlier rep.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:20...when you hire a rep, you agree to let them act as your agent. You may not always like the decisions they make, but you should be bound by them.

Anonymous said...

@2:16 PM A rep has no authority to amend an onset date without the claimant's permission to do so. I cannot see how anyone could defend such an action.

In the case I handled, the prior rep just went along with what the ALJ offered in his lets make a deal routine, not even notifying the claimant of the amendment.

In my eyes, such misconduct should result in a suspension of the rep.

Anonymous said...

And just where was the claimant while the rep and Judge were deal making?? I find most claimant's that are disabled are not disabled on the alleged onset date. Amending the onset date to a date supported by the MER only saves time in the processing of the decision. It takes longer and sometimes gets put on a back burner if one has to establish two RFC's and write it as a later onset date. My dates are not pulled out of thin air and are explained to the Rep and claimant and they can do as they choose..

Anonymous said...

@5:33 PM The claimant was sitting at home. This was a post hearing amendment. The ALJ called the rep and asked re an amendment and the rep just agreed to it without consulting the claimant. The rep received a max fee regardless of which of the 2 onset dates were set, so of course he would just go along with whatever the ALJ wanted. Far too many reps are afraid to challenge an ALJ on onset issues.

Anonymous said...

@5:33 PM
Bravo! Integrity plus guts = good rep.

Justin

Anonymous said...

The claimant should have sued the Rep for malpractice and then gone to the Bar association after his license. If he was a non-attorney Rep, then the claimant should rethink who he gets for a Rep..

joe power said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

A 4:39 Under agency law, an attorney has the authority to act in his client's interests without getting approval of specific decisions. This attorney did nothing wrong in agreeing to an amended onset date. It's not malpractice to obtain a favorable decision for a client, even if it's not as much as the client wanted. It's well-settled law --check out any civil court filing, it's common for cases to settle or be adjudicated for less than the initial request.
While it might be the better practice to ask the client, maybe the prior attorney called and got a verbal OK-- then when the letter came and the client saw it in black and white, had second thoughts.