Jul 31, 2015

Question About Eric Conn's Former Cases

     Is Social Security planning to continue these claimants on interim benefits after the Appeals Council remands the cases for new hearings? If not, these are fee generating cases. The fees will be meager but there will be fees if the claimants aren't going to be drawing interim benefits. I'm not exactly sure how that changes the equation for attorneys who might want to get involved but it may. Also, if these claimants will be getting interim benefits, from the point of view of the claimant, there's no great rush about getting the cases heard. I fear that the claimants and their attorneys will not have an adequate amount of time to develop the cases if they're all to be heard before the end of the year.
     Overall, this is a difficult situation. I have strong doubts that it will be possible to get enough volunteer attorneys to take the cases. There's just too many cases. They're going to be messy cases covering many years. It's not just the question of whether the claimant was disabled as of the time they were originally put on benefits. There's also the issue of whether they became disabled at a later date. That's also at issue. The cases will require a lot of medical development. It's unlikely that the claimants can pay for all those medical records. Geographically, it's a remote area. If all these cases are going to be heard before the end of the year, the time frames are difficult for everyone, including Social Security.


Johnny Cash said...

Will the claimants still have the right to refuse a video hearing? If so, and a large number choose that option, getting all the cases heard by the local ALJs would be difficult by the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

It seems odd that SSA has not asked the ALJ corps at large if there are any volunteers to go up there and do a week of in person hearings.

Further, there has been no request for Senior attorneys or ALJs to screen these case to even see if there are possible OTRs. No matter what in proprieties occurred, if just 10% could be paid, that is 150 people who's lives would be out of the turmoil and 150 fewer cases to re-hear. Surely they could get 30 judges to agree to screen 50 cases each.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the St. Louis NHC judges will travel if one of these claimants refuses a video hearing. They'd probably say the reason nobody's screening for OTRs is because the Appeals Council already looked at each case before sending the termination letters, and only sent them to people who didn't have enough evidence to show they were disabled.

It will be interesting to see if anyone who submitted stuff to the AC after getting a termination letter is actually told they've proved their disability and don't need to have a hearing.