Monthly Archives: May 2013

Disabled Unemployment Statistics Show Little Change in April

According to the DisabilityScoop, the country added 165,000 jobs in April; however, employment numbers for disabled workers remained nearly unchanged. The website reports that the “unemployment rate in April stood at 12.9 percent for those with disabilities, down just slightly from 13 percent the month prior.” DisabilityScoop reported that the U.S. Department of Labor started to track employment among people with disabilities in October 2008. This included people with disabilities covers those over the age of 16 who do not live in institutions. The job market remains pretty dire for the disabled—even when a person is able to obtain a job, the pay does not usually match that of a worker in the general population. Earlier this year, it was reported that more than 50 percent of disabled workers earn less than $25,000 annually. We wonder how many of these disabled and unemployed Americas are eligible for Social Security Disability…
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ALJ Settlement Could Impact Thousands of SSDI Appeal Cases

According to Reuters, a proposed settlement in a case involving five federal administrative law judges (ALJs) in Queens, New York may allow thousands of people to receive new hearings for their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Reuters reports that a class action settlement, filed on May 17, is an attempt to resolve a 2011 lawsuit accusing the five ALJs of failing to give fair hearings to disabled individuals who appeared before them. A judge must approve the settlement. Eight disabled individuals whose claims were rejected by one of five ALJs — David Nisnewitz, Marilyn Hoppenfeld, Seymour Fier, Michael Cofresi and Hazel Strauss, filed the lawsuit in 2011 against the then commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Michael Astrue. The ALJs work in the Queens Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, a part of the SSA. The lawsuit said that the ALJs created a “brick wall of bias and…
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Tulsa Disability Attorney: SSA Office in Philadelphia Closes Due to Federal Budget Cuts

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Social Security Administration (SSA) office in north Philadelphia was closed earlier this month due to federal budget cuts. Residents were told to visit another office, located downtown. “I just went down [to the office],” Robin Blount, 52, told the Inquirer. “It was so crowded downtown – there must have been a thousand people just sitting there waiting.” The president of the company that leased office to the SSA said people are still showing up every day, unaware it has closed. “The first couple of days it was closed, there was a line of people waiting for it to open at 9 a.m., and when it got past 9 and it didn’t open, some people started shaking the gates,” Robert Smith, vice president at Beech Companies told the Inquirer. An SSA representative declined to comment on the office closure. A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Chaka…
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Group of Men With Intellectual Disabilities Win $240 Million Judgment Against Former Employer

According to the DisabilityScoop, a federal jury recently rewarded $240 million to 32 men with intellectual disabilities for “years of abuse and discrimination at the hands of their employer.” The men worked at Henry’s Turkey Service, an Iowa turkey processing plant, where they were found to be living in “substandard conditions and were subject to verbal and physical harassment.” The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOC) against the Texas-based owner of the facility. A jury in Iowa sided with the EOC, saying the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and awarded each of the men $2 million in punitive damages and $5.5 million in compensatory damages. “The verdict sends an important message that the conduct that occurred here is intolerable in this nation, and hopefully will help to restore dignity and acknowledge the humanity of the workers who were mistreated for so many years,”…
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