Archive for September, 2009

Attorney, Sheri Abrams, to Give Presentation on Employment and Disability Law for the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater Washington

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

lawbookSheri Abrams (an attorney specializing in disability law) will be on hand at Fairfax Hospital’s Physician Center on October 4th to discuss employment and disability law as it relates to Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders.

Additional speakers may participate as well.

Time to be Announced.

Address of Fairfax Hospital
3300 Gallows Rd
Falls Church, VA 22042

For more information on this presentation please click here.

Social Security Stops Suspending Benefits Based on Existence of Arrest Warrant

Monday, September 28th, 2009

A U.S. district court has approved a settlement agreement between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and a group of individuals who had their benefits automatically withheld because of outstanding arrest warrants against them. The SSA has agreed to repay more than $500 million in benefits that were withheld since Jan. 1, 2007.

The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit that challenged the implementation of a law that sought to prevent people from using government resources to flee from arrest. Instead of figuring out which Social Security recipients were actually fleeing prosecution, the SSA suspended benefits by using a computer matching system to match names in warrant databases to those at the SSA. However, many of the matches involved false or unproven allegations, minor infractions, or long-dormant arrest warrants.

Under the agreement, the SSA stopped suspending or denying benefits solely on the basis of an outstanding warrant as of April 1, 2009. Benefits will still be withheld if the warrant was issued in a criminal proceeding on a charge such as flight or escape. According to the National Senior Citizens Law Center, more than 200,000 people may see their benefits reinstated or receive back payments due to the settlement.

Social Security to Test Use of Microsoft’s HealthVault in Disability Cases

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, announced that the agency has entered into an agreement with Microsoft to test the use of Microsoft’s HealthVault application in the disability process.

HealthVault is a free online service that enables people to gather, store and manage their families’ health information, and share that information with their physicians and healthcare providers.   These “personal health records” contain the same types of information that Social Security generally obtains from people applying for disability benefits.

The use of personal health records holds great promise for ensuring that the medical information we collect from someone applying for disability benefits is accurate and complete,” Commissioner Astrue said. “Combined with other advancements in health information technology, our use of HealthVault should result in faster decisions for disability applicants. I look forward to working closely with Microsoft, a world-wide leader in information technology.”

Social Security and Microsoft are developing a technical prototype connecting the two organizations that will be available later this year. The agency also will collaborate with Microsoft to study current personal health record standards, gaps in those standards, and options for filling those gaps.

Sheri has concentrated her law practice to the areas of Social Security Disability Law MORE...

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