Elliott Andalman joined three other social security practitioners in filing comments concerning proposed uniform rules across the country for how federal courts will handle social security disability appeals. The three colleagues are Steve Shea, Doug Landau, and Christina Benagh, a retired administrative law judge. Also filing similar comments are the American Association for Justice and the National Organization of Social Security Disability Claimants’ representatives, two organizations to which I proudly belong.
The goals of the proposed rules are proper: to simplify and unify how these appeals are handled throughout the country. These appeals now make up a significant portion of the workload of the federal courts—about 10% of all federal cases filed.
My comments, which you can read here, address several concerns. Probably the most important is preserving the right of the attorneys for disabled claimants to advocate fully on behalf of their clients. There are proposals to place special page limits on the length of the briefs (and therefore arguments) filed in these cases – specifically including to limit briefs to 15 pages. We strongly oppose these limits. These appeals are vitally important to claimants and their families, and can involve disputes about the interpretation of medical evidence, testimony and regulations that are as complex as many other areas of the law. Counsel in these cases must have the same right as plaintiffs in other cases to fully brief their arguments and respond to arguments put forward by the Social Security Administration.
Andalman & Flynn continue to fight for workers’ rights to disability benefits including STD/LTD/ERISA benefits, FERS benefits for federal and postal workers, Maryland’s benefits for state workers and teachers, and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.
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