Feb 20, 2012

Work Reviews Challenged

     From Courthouse News Service:
     The Social Security Administration will have to face claims it failed to make work reviews accessible to the mentally and developmentally disabled, a federal judge ruled.
     U.S. District Judge Edward Chen refused to dismiss two related cases accusing the SSA of violating Title II and Title XVI of the Rehabilitation Act, finding allegations of emotional distress in the review process sufficient to constitute an injury for purposes of standing.
     Work reviews take place after a person has been deemed disabled and granted benefits and are conducted to ensure beneficiaries are not earning above a certain income level, in which case benefits can be terminated, suspended or reduced.
     Terrence Davis and "John Doe" claim the SSA does not train claims representatives how to conduct work reviews when the person under review has mental or development disabilities or how to communicate with such people and that the SSA failed to modify its forms to make them understandable to people with such disabilities....

     Davis originally filed his case in 2006 as a class action but Judge Marilyn Hall Patel rejected his motion for class certification while allowing him to re-file. Davis instead chose to file an amended individual complaint without class allegations. Doe filed his individual complaint a few months later also without class allegations.


Anonymous said...

This is pretty good. you would not believe how shoddy a job is done on work cdr's. forms are mailed to people who have no idea how to complete them, there are not enough cr's to make appts to help people complete them, and people get shut off regardless of whether deserved or not, just to get the clearances. good luck if you were entitled to subsidy or irwe considerations. maybe this will crack open the door of the effect understaffing has on workloads that are not initial disability claims, which seems to be all anyone cares about.

Anonymous said...

"This is pretty good. you would not believe how shoddy a job is done on work cdr's. forms are mailed to people who have no idea how to complete them, there are not enough cr's to make appts to help people complete them"

Why is SSA responsible for completing forms for people? The IRS isn't responsible for helping people file their taxes.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. bring work incentives to the open. maybe they can see the ticket program and do a review on how much money is paid to the contractors.

Anonymous said...

I normally don't send out blank forms to claimants to complete unless the claimants just all out ignore me when I try to contact them (which happens a lot more frequently than you would think).

Besides, the redesigned SSA-820/821 work forms (along with the new SSA-823 SGA determination form) are supposed to be released this week. They are far and away more "user friendly" than the old forms ever were.

Anonymous said...

Note the lawsuit deals with folks who are mentally and developmentally disabled. These people are getting checks because they cannot function normally in the work world. SSA cannot expect them to complete forms dealing with so complicated a subject matter.

The CDRs I've seen don't have development of IRWE, subsidy, even sick/vacation pay (which POMS says is not to be counted as earned compensation). These are not suggested deductions from earnings, but mandatory.

And, SSA has had the wage info and not worked it timely -- wage info is complete on SSA records by about Sept-Oct for the previous year. SSA bears some responsibility for failing to work its own info timely.

I hope this lawsuite succeeds. The claimants are told their checks will stop and they are overpaid huge sums. The law on work incentives is complicated -- try reading the Regulations. SSA has a duty to do these CDRs right, if they are going to do them at all.

Anonymous said...

Need help with these forms? Get an attorney, same as when you apply for benefits. Jeez, one could easily make the case that the whole world could be considered incompatible with the Rehab Act or ADA.

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Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:53 - There are few attorneys who are willing to take on CDRs which many times amount to pro bono cases since there is no retro from which attorneys can be paid. From what resources are these beneficiaries, especially SSI beneficiaries, supposed to pay anyone to help them complete these forms? And before you answer that, ask yourself whether you would be willing to spend a considerable amount of time working for free.