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Disability Law Blog2019-10-10T19:16:52+00:00

Top 10 Reasons for Federal Court Remands in 2019

Reasons for Federal Court Remands.  If the Appeals Council (often referred to as the "AC") denies your request for review, you have the right to appeal the AC decision by filing a civil action in federal court. You do not appear before the federal court. Your attorney will submit a legal brief on your behalf. The attorney for the Social Security Administration will submit a legal brief on behalf of the government. A United States District Court Judge will review the briefs and render a decision. If the federal court rules in your favor, it will remand the case back to the Social Security Administration another Hearing before an administrative law judge. It is unusual for the federal court to directly [...]

September 21st, 2020|

Top 10 Reasons for Appeals Council Remands in 2019

Reasons for Appeals Council Remands. If an Administrative Law Judge (known as an "ALJ") denies the case, you may appeal by filing a Request for Review by the Social Security Administration's Appeals Council (known as the "AC"). You do not appear before the AC. Your attorney will send a legal argument to the AC which will review the entire record. If the AC finds your appeal has merit, it will order another Hearing be held before an ALJ. It is unusual for the AC to directly award disability benefits. For 2019 the Top 10 Reasons for Appeals Council Remands were as follows: #1.  RFC - Mental limitations were inadequately evaluated.  5.8%. #2.  Other.  4.9% #3.  RFC - Exertional limitations were inadequately [...]

September 21st, 2020|

ONC’s Final Rule & HITECH

ONC's Final Rule. Are HITECH medical records requests now Obsolete? In 2018 I wrote an article explaining why HITECH medical records requests were "an excellent tool attorneys can use to obtain medical records at a lower cost". Click here to see the article. A lot has changed since 2018. On January 23, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Decision in the case of Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar. The Court ruled that the HITECH cap on the fee a patient can be charged for medical records does NOT apply to records sent to third parties, such as a law firm. Click here to see my article that discusses the Ciox case. While the HITECH [...]

July 8th, 2020|Tags: |

ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule

ONC's Cures Act Final Rule. In this article I will discuss how federal regulations adopted on May 1, 2020 dramatically change the rules of the game on how patients can access their electronic health records, and what fees can be charged for such records. The 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act was adopted in 2016 to help accelerate medical product development and bring new innovations to patients including improved access to medical records. This Act encourages the "interoperability" of electronic health records. The term interoperability means ". . . such health information technology that . . . allows for complete access, exchange, and use of all electronically accessible health information for authorized use . . ."  Public Law 114-255, Sec. [...]

July 7th, 2020|

MyChart Accounts – A Better Alternative to HITECH.

MyChart Accounts are becoming a better alternative to HITECH medical records requests. I recently wrote a blog on how Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar affects HITECH medical records requests. Click here to read that blog. In this blog I want to suggest a better option to HITECH medical records requests is now widely available. This option is the patient's MyChart Account. Most health care providers now offer patients the option to access his/her medical records via an online MyChart Account. Once set up, the patient has access to all his/her medical records. These records can be downloaded at no cost. For example, I am a patient of the Duke Healthcare System. Here is how a MyChart Account works. 1. I login [...]

February 21st, 2020|

HITECH Medical Records Requests & the CIOX Health Case

The law on HITECH medical records requests has changed due to the recent CIOX Health case. On January 23, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Decision in the case of Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, Case No. 18-cv-00040 (APM). The Court ruled that the HITECH Act cap on the fee a patient can be charged for medical records does NOT apply to records sent to third parties, such as a law firm. The decision of the Court can be found here. In response to this Decision, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published a Notice on January 28, 2020. This Notice summarizes of the key rulings in the Court, and states [...]

February 20th, 2020|

Approval Rates for Social Security Disability Judges.

The Approval Rates for Social Security Disability Judges vary widely among judges. Nationally, it varies from a low of 9% to a high of 96%. In North Carolina, the approval rates vary from a low of 23% to a high of 87%.  The national average is an approval rate of approximately 53%. Clearly, the judge randomly assigned to a disability case is an important factor that influences whether benefits will be awarded. For this reason I have obtained data on the approval rates of each disability judge in North Carolina (see below). Based on my experience of presenting hundreds of cases to more than 50 different disability judges, I believe the importance of the specific judge assigned to a case is [...]

December 17th, 2019|

Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Disability Lawyer Video

Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Disability Lawyer Disability Lawyer David R. Paletta 1. Do NOT hire an out-of-state law firm. Large out-of-state law firms spends thousands of dollars advertising on TV and the Internet. Their # 1 goal is to make a profit. They do not allow you to have a personal relationship with an attorney. In my opinion, they do not provide the level of legal services I believe you are entitled to. 2. If you look for a lawyer online, avoid the middle men. In recent years, "brokers" have arisen. They spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads and dominate the 1st page. They look like law firms but they are not. They are middle men [...]

October 29th, 2019|

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Disability

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Disability.  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. For reasons doctors still do not understand, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, especially the synovial joint. […]

October 29th, 2019|

Degenerative Disc Disease and Disability Video

Degenerative Disc Disease and Social Security Disability.  One of the most common causes of disability is chronic back pain. We have all hurt our back at one time or another. We take it easy for a few days or few weeks and fully recover. However, for some individuals back pain is chronic, severe and debilitating. The Spine. The spine is tremendously important because it provides the physical support for our entire body. The spine has five parts – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. Spinal vertebrae are bones that form an opening in which the spinal cord passes. These bones are stacked one on top of another. The two parts of the back that most often cause problems are the cervical [...]

August 1st, 2019|

Multiple Sclerosis and Social Security Disability Video

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Multiple sclerosis (MS) damages myelin, a fatty substance that normally surrounds and protects the nerves. It can also damage nerves within the central nervous system. […]

October 1st, 2019|
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