The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is more critical than ever for the financial security of millions of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals. Join experts from leading advocacy organizations for a special pre-conference designed for advocates who focus on establishing and maintaining clients’ eligibility for SSI.
Overpayments, Appeals, and Waivers
Kate Lang, Justice in Aging
John Whitelaw, Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (DE)
An overpayment of SSI benefits occurs whenever an individual receives money that SSA later claims he or she was not entitled to. This presentation will review overpayment options and steps advocates can take to enforce clients’ due process rights.
Cessations: Continuing Disability Reviews and 18-Year-OldReviews
Jennifer Burdick, Community Legal Services (PA)
Richard Weishaupt, Community Legal Services (PA)
In recent years, SSA’s administrative funding has required the agency to complete an increased number of Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) and 18-year-old reviews. We will examine the sequence of review, the burden of proof required under a CDR and SSA’s duties in conducting CDRs, as well as cover what is included in an “age 18” review for those who started receiving SSI benefits as children. We will also discuss the recent Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) on CDRs and its implications for SSI recipients.
Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts
Presenter: Caitlin McAndrews, McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan P.C.
On far too many occasions, our clients receive funds from various sources (personal injury settlements, inheritances, lottery winnings) that threaten their eligibility for SSI. Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts are two mechanisms that can avoid these problems. In this session, we will cover the basics of both of these options as a means of preserving SSI for vulnerable clients.
Immigrant Eligibility for SSI
Presenter: Carrie Chapman, Legal Council for Health Justice (IL)
SSA rules for determining non-citizen eligibility are complex and frequently confusing to potential claimants. Recent changes to immigration rules regarding use of benefits add another layer of issues to address when working with non-citizens. In this session, we will cover basic non-citizen eligibility rules, frequently asked questions in this area, and how we can advise claimants on the changes to the “public charge” immigration test and their choices about benefits use.
General Opening Session
Presidential transition. George Piemonte, NOSSCR President: Opening Remarks
Barbara Silverstone, NOSSCR Executive Director: The Advocate’s Perspective
Stacy Cloyd, NOSSCR’s Office of Government Affairs: Washington Update.
Workshops: Choose one from the following:
Social Security Disability Law for Beginners
Jessica Davis, Esq.
David Kapor, Esq.
This presentation seeks to provide the basic information, tools, and resources needed for new attorneys or seasoned practitioners who are considering, or have recently begun practicing in, the area of Social Security Disability law. We will provide an overview of the most significant rules and regulations (where to start), the administrative process/timeline, the 5-Step Sequential Evaluation, and the common forms and filings needed throughout the course of the claim. Finally, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain information from the perspectives of a practitioner with over 40 years of experience in representing claimants, and new attorney.
ERISA and Long-Term Disability: What Every Social Security Law Practitioner Needs to Know
Mark DeBofsky, Esq.
Martina Sherman, Esq.
This session will highlight similarities and differences between the Social Security disability program and private disability insurance focusing on medical criteria, vocational issues, and the interplay between Social Security and private disability benefits. The emphasis is on utilizing practice experience gained from handling Social Security claims to presenting and winning claims under private disability policies (group and individual disability).
Administrative Fees: How to Get Paid for Winning Your Case at the Administrative Level When the Fee Agreement Isn’t Enough
Mary Meadows, Esq.
There is more to getting paid than using the statutory fee agreement in Social Security cases.What happens when circumstances such as a prior representative, a remand from federal court (if you used a two-tier fee agreement), objections to the fee by the client.prevent your fee agreement from being approved?This program will focus on helping you obtain and keep the fee you earned.
Federal Court Attorney Fees
Heather Freeman, Esq.
Cody Marvin, Esq.
Avoid Traps for the unwary in seeking federal court attorney fees. This session will cover fees under the Social Security Act and the Equal Access to Justice Act, including: necessary documents, contract language, EAJA offsets, recent case law, district/circuit specific issues, EAJA seizures, interaction with administrative level fees, determining the available attorney fee, difference between determining the EAJA fee and a reasonable attorney fee under the Social Security Act, and getting payment issued.
SSA Opening Session
We are honored that the following members of the Social Security Administration will be part of our conference. There are many updates throughout the administration that will be shared with our attendees. Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul or Deputy Commissioner David Black will provide an update on the Social Security Administration’s activity during the pandemic. Deputy Commissioner, Hearings Operations, Theresa L. Gruber, Jebby Rasputnis, Executive Director and Florence Felix-Lawson, Deputy Executive Director for the Office of Appellate Operations will also be joining the session to discuss the updates.
A Blueprint for Winning! Using Strategies and Techniques Provided by Social Security Ruling 16-3p to Win at Hearings
Luis Gracia, Esq.
Tina Ehrenkaufer, Disability Advocate
This presentation will provide attendees with specific strategies, techniques and methods to successfully apply the principles behind Social Security Ruling 16-3p at hearings. From preparing clients to cross-examining Medical Experts and crafting legal arguments to present to ALJs, this seminar is dedicated to helping practitioners make the most of their representation at hearing.
Best Practices for Representation of Clients with a History of Substance Abuse [Ethics]
David Camp, Esq.
Steven Weiss, Esq.
Current or recent drug or alcohol use can make a disability claim more challenging, but this session will focus on best practices for representation of clients with a history of drug or alcohol use, with tips for maintaining effective attorney-client relationships, developing the record, making effective arguments, cross-examination of medical experts, and use of SSR 13-2p to win cases. Hear from both private and legal services attorneys accept and wins cases with active substance use.
The Broad Scope of “Moderate” under the Paragraph B Criteria and Ensuring Appropriate Consideration/Articulation of the Paragraph B Criteria Findings in the RFC
Katie Brinkmeyer, Esq.
The classification of “Mild” or “Moderate” with respect paragraph B criteria for the applicable listings in Section 12.00, Mental Disorders can make or break your case because moderate classification of any of the paragraph B criteria earns a corresponding limitation in the RFC. However, moderate is much broader in scope that most of us realize. Moreover, once an element in the B criteria gains “moderate” status, it warrants a corresponding limitation in the RFC.
Regional Updates for Circuits 5 and 7
These sessions will focus on local areas of concern.Led by your circuit board representative, participants will learn about case law and recent policy updates that affect their practice and discuss ways to implement these changes into their practice.Topics may include how centralized scheduling is being implemented in your area, how the ALJs implement the five-day rule, and how ALJs are weighing medical evidence and interpreting the new code of conduct, as well as relevant local federal court decisions.Practice tips to speed processing of cases can also be discussed.