Chronic Pain Fog
Pain adversely effects cognition. Research shows that the more widespread the pain, the bigger the memory deficits. As WebMD points out, pain interferes with concentration and staying on task, and executive functioning.
Social Security constantly posits that if a disability applicant has a cognitive issue, such as concentration or staying on task, then it must be because they have a mental impairment. Consequently, the State agency automatically directs such claimants to attend consultative examination (“CE”) for a “mental problem” in addition to a CE for the physical impairment.
If you do not have a mental problem, then there is no need to attend a CE for a mental problem because the cognitive problem is not due to a psychological disorder. The irrelevant CE is a waste of time, usually delays processing the application, and can become the focus for denying benefits, regardless of the limitations resulting from the physical impairment.
We represent a 61 year old from Pennsylvania with multiple physical conditions that prevented him from continuing to work as a manager. The State agency wanted him to go to a psychological CE because of his concentration problems. We insisted that his concentration issues were due solely to his chronic pain, and he was not alleging a mental impairment. The claimant was approved for Social Security Disability benefits the following week.
If you are thinking about applying for SSD benefits, it is in your best interest to retain an attorney who specializes in disability. Our offices are located in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Please call us for a free phone consultation.
The Social Security Administration is required to consider the combined effect of all your medical impairments when determining if you are disabled. Thus, even if none of your impairment renders you disabled, you can still be found disabled by the combined impact of all them. We represent a 56 year old financial planner from Manhasset with cervical radiculopathy and Crohn’s disease that illustrates the aforementioned synergistic principle.
The claimant’s application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was denied by the State agency. When the case proceeded to a hearing, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) sounded surprised when the medical expert testified that the claimant’s severe Crohn’s disease would pose no limitation on her ability to stay on task and avoid sick days.
The ALJ issued a fully favorable decision today. Among other things, the ALJ accepted the treating physician’s opinions that the claimant would be absent from work more than three times per month, and would be off task greater than 20% of the workday, which would preclude all work. He accepted these opinions without asking the Vocational Expert, assigned to the hearing, to testify, after my intense cross examination of their Medical Expert.
Only an experienced disability attorney would know how to navigate the hearing in order to obtain the approval of the claim. Please call my office for a free phone consultation if you are considering applying for disability benefits. Our offices are located on Long Island, in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
We represent a 55 year old construction worker from St. James with hip and spine impairments, whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits were approved today, six months after we filed his application. While we are glad that we were able to obtain SSD benefits without the need for a hearing, six months was still too long a time for the approval.
Based on the claimant’s work history, age and education, he was entitled to SSD benefits under the medical-vocational rules even if he were physically able to perform “light work.” Light work is more strenuous than sedentary, desk work.
The claim file contained close to 1,500 pages of medical records. There were plenty of objective diagnostic test results that showed the claimant would be unable to stand and walk for the requisite 6 hours a day to perform light work.
Social Security has many excuses when we challenge their delay tactics. The undeniable fact is that if we do not constantly call the local office, and the Stage agency analyst handling our clients’ claims, the delays would be much longer. Do not accept their perpetual cycle of delays. Call our office for a free phone consultation, whether you are considering applying for SSD, or if you applied on your own and realize that you need an experienced disability attorney to navigate the administrative process. Our offices are located on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
LTD Benefits Reinstated
We represent a claimant whose long term disability (“LTD”) benefits were denied by Lincoln Life. After we filed suit Fredrich v. Lincoln Life and Annuity Co. of N.Y., 2022 WL 1537162 (E.D.N.Y. 05/13/2022) Lincoln approved LTD benefits on June 22, 2022, and paid past due benefits. However, last month, Lincoln terminated the LTD benefits. We requested the claim file, and began gathering medical and vocational evidence for the appeal.
When I reviewed the claim file, I found notes dated February 28, 2023, from the Lincoln claim handler who terminated the LTD benefits. Her notes stated that a peer review dated February 27, 2023, supported the claimant being disabled from August 1, 2020 to present and ongoing, and that the claim would be re-evaluated in three months. Therefore, I sent a letter to the Lincoln claim handler on March 9, 2023, asking why she terminated benefits if the file was not even due to be reviewed for another three months. Perhaps more importantly, I asked what medical tests, exam findings, and symptoms, did Lincoln contend changed after June 22, 2022, which Lincoln believes shows the claimant was no longer disabled.
I received a call today from Lincoln’s LTD Manager. After reading the March 9, 2023, the LTD Manager agreed that the claimant remained disabled, and advised me that Lincoln was reinstating LTD benefits. While the claimant had already incurred some costs in obtaining updated reports, he was happy to receive an expeditious reversal of the termination.
Nearly three years after commencing an action against Hartford to recover long term disability (“LTD”) benefits, and a few months after getting Hartford to start paying monthly LTD benefits, we have an agreement in principle to settle the remaining cause action in connection with a buy-out of the claimant’s future benefits.
Disability insurance companies, like Hartford, are notorious for deciding to deny LTD claims before they have even started reviewing a claim, and for terminating benefits without a medical reason, they just want to avoid paying the claim anymore. The disability insurance companies only care about their profitability. They do not care about claimants, which is why you need an experienced disability attorney to represent you for your LTD claim. Our office offers a free phone consultation with offices located on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Many people seeking Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits do not include third party support statements when applying, or have third parties testify at hearings. Having witness attestations should not be overlooked.
We represent a 57 year old Financial Vice President from Queens Village with spine impairments. The claimant had two SSD applications that were denied before we were retained. The good news is that we succeeded in getting the claimant’s third application approved on-the-record without a hearing. The bad news is that the ALJ would not reopen the prior applications, which resulted is a substantial loss of benefits.
One difference in the third application was a report from the claimant’s friend, which the ALJ specifically considered in accordance with Social Security Ruling (SSR) 16-3p. Specifically, he considered the personal observations in terms of how consistent those observations are with the claimant’s statements about their symptoms as well as with all of the objective medical evidence in the file. Third party statements are not evaluated using the same criteria as medical source statements; however, they were considered to complete the narrative of the claimant’s subjective complaints in accordance with accordance with and 20 CFR 404.1520b(c) and 416.920b(c).
The claimant made the right decision when he realized that he needed to retain an experienced disability attorney after filing on his own, and being denied twice. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of his decision. Please feel free to call our office for a free phone consultation if you are considering applying for SSD benefits. We are located on Long Island with offices located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
According to Social Security, a dire need situation exists when a claimant alleges any of the following circumstances:
- The claimant is without food and is unable to obtain it.
- The claimant lacks medicine or medical care and is unable to obtain it, or access to necessary medical care is restricted because of a lack of resources.
- The claimant lacks shelter (e.g., without utilities such that their home is uninhabitable, homelessness, expiration of a shelter stay, or imminent eviction or foreclosure with no means to remedy the situation or obtain shelter).
Absent evidence to the contrary, accept a person’s allegation that the person does not have enough income or resources to meet an immediate threat to their health or safety. HO employees will err on the side of designating the case critical.
Despite the above, many requests to have a claim classified as a dire need case are ignored by the assigned analyst.
We represent a 58 year old with multiple foot, spine and wrist problems from Valley Stream who worked as an electrician. We were able to obtain strong evidence from the claimant’s pain management specialist. The claimant qualified as a dire need case because his utilities were being shut off. However, the case was languishing because the analyst was holding dire need status hostage.
The analyst refused to tag the case as a dire need because he wanted to the claimant to attend a consultative examination (“CE”) with IMA. We had to escalate the matter above the analyst’s head, who claimed there was nothing he could do. We succeeded in getting the supervisor to expedite the case, which was approved in about 10 days, without the need for a CE.
The claimant is so happy that he retained us, and that we had the experience and knowledge to do what was needed to get his claim expedited. This is just another of many reasons why you should retain an experienced disability attorney to represent you if you plan on filing for Social Security Disability benefits. If we hadn’t known what to do, our claimant’s case would still be sitting there.
If you are planning on applying for Social Security Disability benefits, please call our office for a free phone consultation at (888) 572-0861. Our offices are conveniently located in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
We represent a 49 year old financial advisor from Plainview with residual problems from a stroke, whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits were approved today without a hearing, but with little help from the State agency.
Since the claimant was under 50 years of age, there was little need for vocational information, because transferable skills were not an issue. Nonetheless, the State agency repeatedly held the claim up by requesting more details about the claimant’s work duties than they do in other cases.
To compound matters further, we submitted thousands of pages of medical and hospital records detailing the stroke sequelae. The records documented hemiparalysis, balance issues, fatigue, foot drop, among other things. Nonetheless, the State agency kept sending requests for the claimant’s brain scans – which we confirmed each time had already been submitted. Then it became obvious to us what the problem was.
We went through the records that were in the State agency’s electronic folder for the claimant. We pulled out the brain scans, and resubmitted a second time. SSD benefits were approved shortly thereafter. In other words, the State Agency representative refused to review the medical records because they were so voluminous, so we had to do their job for them.
It is vital to have an experienced disability attorney represent you if you plan on applying for SSD benefits. From the moment we file our client’s application, we stay on top of the representative(s) handling your claim. For example, when we submit medical evidence directly into our client’s efile, we receive a confirmatory receipt. However, we consistently find that when we check the efile a few days later, the evidence we submitted is not there. The State agency analysts’ stock answer is that it’s the “system’s” fault. It’s a constant game of submitting evidence, checking to make sure it shows up in our claimant’s file, and then calling the State agency when we don’t find the evidence in the file.
The bottom line is that most of the analysts at the State agency do not do their jobs. It could be that they are lazy, stupid or they just don’t care. If you want to maximize your chances of being approved for SSD benefits, then you need to retain an experienced disability attorney. We have been handling disability claims since the last Century. Please call our office for a free phone consultation if you plan on applying for SSD benefits. We have offices located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
In New York, Disability Determination Services (“DDS”), a State agency, initially decides if you get Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. Experience reveals that most of the people working at DDS are lazy.
We constantly have cases sitting at DDS for months without any review activity. Then, after we submit medical records and reports, DDS asks for the same things again, as if simply churning the file shows they have done something. Because they wait too long to review files, DDS regularly claims that the medical records are stale. If DDS had bothered to review the records in a reasonably prompt manner, then the records would not have become stale.
Many DDS medical consultants (“MCs”) are amongst the laziest DDS employees. We always provide MCs with more than ample medical evidence to find claimants disabled. However, MCs refuse to review the medical records and opinions reports that we submit. Instead, the MCs claim that there is insufficient evidence if a claimant does not attend a consultative examination (“CE”). In other words, the only evidence the MCs care about reviewing is the CE report. We had a case with thousands of pages of medical records and reports detailing claimants’ limitations, yet the MCs still said there was insufficient evidence.
We received an OTR today that illustrates the DDS laziness. We represent a 60 year old medical receptionist from Lindenhurst, who had to stop working after suffering a stroke. The file contained over 500 pages of medical records, including detailed functional limitational form the claimant’s neurologist, yet Robert Dickerson, the DDS MC, denied SSD benefits on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence. We appealed by requesting a hearing, which transferred the case from the State agency to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). It was so obvious to an attorney from the SSA that our client was disabled, that the case was approved OTR, without any additional medical evidence having been submitted.
The DDS laziness wasted the claimant’s time, and the SSA’s resources as well. It is sad that an agency who is supposed to be helping people actually do the opposite. We want to help you. If you are applying for SSD, you need an experienced, competent attorney. Please contact our office for a free phone consultation. We have offices located on Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
ALJ Carlton Reversed Again
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) John Carlton denies most cases Social Security Disability (“SSD”) cases because he bases his decisions on his interpretation of the medical data, instead of the interpretation of physicians, as the law requires.
We represent a 56 year old claimant from Bay Shore with hip problems, who worked for over 30 years as a truck driver, warehouseman, and police officer. ALJ Carlton, who was not qualified to interpret an x-ray, decided that the claimant only became disabled on the date the claimant’s hip x-ray demonstrated arthritis and degenerative changes. You do not have to be a physician to realize that degenerative changes cannot possibly occur overnight. Notably, we represented another claimant in Vellone v. Saul, 2021 WL 2801138 (S.D.N.Y. 07/06/2021) where the court reversed ALJ Carlton’s decision because, once again, he decided to play doctor, and relied on his interpretation of the medical evidence to reject the treating doctor’s opinion that the plaintiff’s hip and back pain precluded working.
In the present instance, ALJ Carlton never explained how the claimant’s hip problems suddenly went from not even being severe, to limiting the claimant to light work, on April 13, 2019. Upon appealing the case to federal court, we sent a short letter to counsel for the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). Based upon that letter, the SSA agreed that ALJ Carlton’s decision was indefensible, and voluntarily remanded the claim.
On remand, the case was reassigned to ALJ Alan Berkowitz. Today, ALJ Berkowitz issued a fully favorable decision, and awarded the claimant SSD benefits, without even holding a hearing.
Hartford Breached Its Fiduciary Duty
Hartford Life, as claims administrator of a long term disability (“LTD”) plan, relies on claim procedures, which the Second Circuit found violated ERISA’s regulations. Hartford argued that its procedures, which it called “protocols,” entitled Hartford to take more than 45 days to decide if a claimant is entitled to receive benefits. Hartford admitted that it routinely applies the protocols. One protocol is Hartford’s appeals department remanding administrative appeals to Hartford’s claims department. Another protocol is arguing that COVID entitles Hartford to an extension of time.
Since Hartford admitted that it regularly employs the protocols as a general matter, we asserted a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty, and as relief, asked that Hartford be removed as the Plan’s claim administrator. Hartford asked the Court to dismiss the breach of fiduciary duty claims. On January 13, 2023, Magistrate Judge (“MJ”) Arlene Lindsay rejected Hartford’s request. However, MJ Lindsay indicated that since the breach of fiduciary claims may subject Hartford to a class action, within 30 days, she wanted to be notified of the steps the plaintiff will take towards serving as an adequate representative.
In compliance with MJ Lindsay’s order, we served interrogatories on Hartford that seek the identities of past and present participants of the LTD Plan, since each of those individuals is a potential plaintiff. The interrogatories also seek the identities of past and present participants of other disability plans where Hartford has or may apply its protocols because each of those individuals also has a potential breach of fiduciary duty claim against Hartford.
Feel free to contact us if Hartford is your LTD claim administrator, and you have questions about the way your claim has been handled. We can be reached at (888) 572-0861.
By Susan Golden
The number one question we get everyday is, “How long will it take to get a decision on my claim?” The answer is, “Be prepared for the long haul.” Why is that? As soon as we file a social security disability (“SSD”) claim with our client’s local Social Security Administration (“SSA”) office, the excuses and delays begin. Popular excuses from the local offices include: “We don’t have all the paperwork;” “The file must be sitting on someone’s desk;” “We’re backlogged;” “The person handling the case is out;” and “We don’t know why it hasn’t been processed yet, everything we need is here!”
After your local SSA office processes the claim, they send it to the State agency, where the claim is reviewed. Everything is done electronically, so the file should be transferred quickly to the State agency, and include everything submitted to the Local SSA office, such as your application and our letters of representation. However, depending on the local office, it can take weeks, sometimes months, to get the file transferred, and even then, the State agency claims documents are missing.
Your file has been transferred to the State agency! Great, now things will start moving. Hold on, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The State agency is full of their own excuses and delay tactics. In fact, they are masters at it. They constantly complain that they don’t have enough information from the claimant’s treating doctors, even though we have submitted exactly what they are asking for! They mislabel documents in the file, and are too lazy to look through them, because if they did, then they would realize that the file does indeed have exactly what they are asking for. They don’t look at a file for months, and then all of a sudden they complain the records we have submitted are “stale,” when we had submitted them in a timely manner. Luckily, we know how to play their game, and call them out on their delay tactics.
I could go on and on, but don’t have enough space or time, but you get the picture. If you need to apply for SSD, you should make certain that you retain an experienced disability attorney. We have over three decades of experience, and know the SSA system inside and out. Please feel free to call our office for a free phone consultation. We have offices in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
Most people applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits (“SSI”) understand that their doctors need to support the disability claims. What most people don’t know is that their doctors must support the inability to work at any full time job. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) evaluates if there are any occupations in the economy that exist “in significant numbers” that a claimant could perform. The SSA doesn’t care if the occupations they find are still in existence, or performed in the same manner, or what the purported jobs pay. The SSA only cares about denying as many cases as possible, even if their methods are questionable and inaccurate.
The SSA relies on testimony from a “Vocational Expert” (“VE”) at hearing. The VE uses an antiquated publication called the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”) to come up with jobs that a claimant could do when the claimant can’t perform their own occupation. The DOT was updated in 1977. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that a lot has changed in the last 45 years, especially in the ways jobs are performed. A lot of the jobs in the DOT don’t even exist anymore. Claimants are continuously denied SSD/SSI benefits when a VE finds jobs in the DOT that claimants supposedly can do, and then the VE uses unreliable methods to estimate how many of these jobs are available nationwide. The SSA wastes billions of dollars, and can never seem to make the necessary updates and changes to their system to be able to make more accurate assessments and decisions. It’s embarrassing!
It is vitally important that you retain an experienced attorney who specializes in disability and knows how the system works. We have over three decades of experience working with the SSA and its Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”), cross examining the medical experts and VEs, which requires a thorough understanding of the DOT and ONET. Unlike many other disability attorneys, if an ALJ denies your claim, we can appeal your case to Federal Court, where we can succeed in obtaining a new hearing, or an approval of benefits. While we cannot guarantee the outcome, we can guarantee that we will fight for you to make certain you get a fair hearing.
Please feel free to call our office for a free phone consultation. We have offices conveniently located on Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Approved In Under Two Months
As the Washington Post just reported, the system for processing applications for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits is more overburdened than ever. Knowing how to navigate the process is more important than ever.
We represent a 60 year old barber from Fresh Meadows with cancer. We succeeded in obtaining SSD benefits in less than two months during the time when most claimants are waiting years. Understanding what was needed, and promptly obtaining and submitting it, enabled us to expedite securing the claimant’s benefits.
ALJ Grossman Reversed Again
Only 14% of cases that the Appeals Council reviews are reversed. As a statistical matter, the odds of a case being reversed by the Appeals Council twice are an infinitesimal .0196%. However, those odds increase greatly when a decision of administrative law judge (“ALJ”) Seth Grossman is being reviewed.
ALJ Grossman has a very low approval rate, and a reputation for issuing biased decisions. As a result, I have filed extensive Complaints and requests for investigations pursuant to Social Security Ruling SSR 13-1 at the request of clients.
Yesterday, the Appeals Council reversed a decision by ALJ Grossman, for the second time. The Appeals Council determined that Grossman had committed fundamental errors yet again. Consequently, the Appeals Council ruled that it would be inappropriate for further review by ALJ Grossman, and ordered that the case be reassigned to another ALJ.
Is SSD Permanent? No.
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will periodically conduct
a continuing disability review (“CDR”) to determine if you remain
disabled. The regulations state that a CDR should be done at least once
every three years, unless you have a medical condition that is not
expected to improve, in which case the CDR should take place every five
to seven years. If the SSA determines that your medical condition has
improved, then your Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits
will be terminated.
We represent a 34 year old financial services manager who the SSA found
disabled in 2018 due to IBS. However, the SSA terminated his benefits on
the grounds that his health had improved, and he retained us again.
On reconsideration, we were able to obtain reports from the claimant’s
doctors that explained how the objective medical evidence supported his
persistent functional deficits. As a result, the SSA reversed its decision, and
reinstated SSD benefits.
The SSA has been increasingly seeking ways to reduce the number of
claimants collecting SSD benefits. You cannot assume that you will continue
to receive SSD benefits until you reach retirement age. That is why it is vital that you continue to see your doctors on a regular basis even after you are approved for SSD benefits. It is equally as important to retain an experienced Social Security Disability attorney if the SSA erroneously terminates your benefits. Our office offers free phone consultations and we have offices located on Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
SSA – Is Anyone Listening?
By Susan Golden
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has problems. Serious problems. Years and years of backlogged claims, analysts who don’t give a damn, inexperienced employees, and Judges who don’t follow the rules. Unfortunately, we have had claimants pass away, while waiting for a decision on their Social Security Disability claim. And there are thousands of people across the country who are dying before their claims have been decided.
We have a client who passed away almost four years ago. He left behind a wife and two children. He filed for Social Security Disability benefits on December 5, 2017. His case, which was supposed to be expedited, went before Judge Carlton at the Bronx Hearing Office on April 12 2019, who erroneously denied the claim, and who took months to make the decision; September 26, 2019 to be exact. We appealed his case to Federal Court. On January 29, 2021, a Federal Court Judge made the decision to remand the case back to Judge Carlton for a new hearing. We immediately sent a letter to Judge Carlton, reminding him the that the claimant had passed away, and that the case was supposed to be expedited, and asked that the hearing be scheduled right away. The remanded hearing wasn’t held until June 9, 2022. At the hearing, we reminded Judge Carlton that there were no new records to submit because the claimant had passed away.
It’s been well over four months since the hearing, and not only has the Judge not made a decision on the claim, he has not even LOOKED at the case since the hearing. We have spoken to supervisors at the Bronx Hearing Office, mailed and faxed letters to the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Bronx Hearing Office, and have had the claimant’s wife call her local congressman’s office. There has been NO movement at all. How is this even possible? The answer is, there are no consequences or repercussions for Judge Carlton, the Bronx Hearing Office, or the SSA. The way this case has been handled is a disgrace and a travesty. And it’s not the first one and it won’t be the last. No one deserves to be treated like this. Is anyone listening??
Cost of Living Increase
It is almost that time of the year again when Social Security announces the cost of living adjustment (“COLA”) to Social Security checks for 2023. This year, due to inflation, those receiving Social Security benefits could see as much as an 8.7% increase to their Social Security checks. Experts’ predictions on the amount of the COLA have been fluctuating over the past several months, but one thing they all seem to agree on is that it will be one of the largest increases in more than 40 years. It would also be the highest increase anyone currently receiving benefits has ever received.
Unconscionable Delays by ALJ
by Susan Golden
It is a well known fact that the process of applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits and waiting for a decision, can take months, or even years. You cannot continue to work if you want to apply for SSD, yet, you’re expected to live without income and wait, while the system slowly churns.
Social Security’s excuse for their long delays in processing a claim has always been that they are understaffed and backlogged. While this in part may be true, the bulk of the delays seem to be due to a simple lack of caring. While there are many concerned and committed workers at the SSA, they seem to be more of a rarity, as a lot of the more experienced employees retire. So many cases are delayed simply because a file sits on someone’s desk for days, weeks and even months.
We represent a claimant who applied for SSD benefits on December 5, 2017. The claimant became unable to work a fulltime job on June 15, 2016, and contacted us in December of 2017, seeking our services. Unfortunately, he passed away 3 months before his initial hearing. He left behind a wife and two children, who were his world. Five months after his hearing, his claim was denied by ALJ John Carlton at the Bronx hearing office. This is an unusually long period of time for a Judge to take to make a decision.
We appealed the claim at the Appeals Council (“AC”) and it was denied three months later, in December of 2019. We subsequently filed suit in Federal Court, and the case was remanded for another hearing. The order was signed and issued by Federal Court Judge Ronnie Abrams on July 6, 2021, and sent back to the AC to process and send back to the hearing office.
It then took the AC an unusually long six months to send a letter to AlJ Carlton, advising him that our claimant’s case had been remanded for further proceedings. Two weeks later, we sent a letter to ALJ Carlton, reminding him that the claim was supposed to be expedited, even though the AC didn’t treat it as such, and asked that the hearing be scheduled.
Our client’s remanded hearing was held on June 8, 2022, six months after we requested ALJ Carlton to have the hearing scheduled, and almost a year after Judge Abrams issued her decision for a remand.
Four months have passed since the June 8th hearing, and ALJ Carlton has not made a decision. In fact, he has not even looked at the case. We have called the Bronx hearing office on a number of occasions to ask why this is so. We were simply told the case is with the ALJ, and there is nothing they can do. In the beginning of August, we sent a letter to ALJ Carlton, on behalf of our claimant’s wife and children, asking him to please make a decision on the case, as there was no new evidence to submit since the claimant has been deceased since prior to the original hearing in April of 2019.
Regrettably, our request has fallen on deaf ears, and has been completely ignored. Our claimant’s wife is understandably angry and upset at the way her husband’s case has been handled, and feels that their children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The delays in this case have been unconscionable.
This week, we sent a letter to Chief Judge Selwyn S. Walters, at the Bronx hearing office, respectfully asking him to speak with ALJ Carlton, to avoid any further delays, and to ask him to make it a priority to make a decision on this case.