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I represent a 53 year old former auto body mechanic from Rego Park, Queens, with back and emotional impairments whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application was approved today without a hearing. What made this case interesting was that the file, more specifically, the medical evidence “F” section of the eFolder, included a surveillance report from the Cooperative Disability Investigations (“CDI”) Unit of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”).
According to the SSA Office of the Inspector General, the CDI Units investigate disability claims under SSA’s Title II and Title XVI programs that State disability examiners believe are suspicious. The CDI program’s primary mission is to “obtain evidence that can resolve questions of fraud before benefits are ever paid.”
The eFolder contained no explanation why the State disability examiners would believe the claimant’s application was suspicious. Nor did the eFolder provide any basis for suspecting the claimant was engaging in fraudulent activity. Consequently, pursuant to a Social Security regulation and HALLEX provision, I asked the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) to issue a subpoena to command the appearance of the author of the surveillance report, the production of the video recording taken during the investigation, and all documentation that purportedly justified the investigation.
The ALJ approved the claimant’s SSD application the day before the hearing. It is unknown if requesting the subpoena played a role in the ALJ’s decision. If you would like to speak with a disability attorney about a CDI Unit report, feel free to call our office. If you live in Long Island, and have questions about a CDI report or disability matter, you can also meet at our offices.Previous Next
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