Friday, May 29, 2015

80 Third District residents to lose Social Security benefits unless steps are taken

Eighty West Virginia residents in the Third Congressional District have been notified by the Social Security Administration that they will lose their disability benefits next month following an agency review of their cases.
The residents were granted benefits on appeal by former Social Security administrative judge David B. Daugherty who was caught up in a fraud scandal with Kentucky attorney Eric C. Conn and several doctors.
West Virginia Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins said Thursday those notified only have 10 days to contact Social Security or face losing their benefits as early as June 2. Jenkins said he’s fighting for more time.
“We are pushing for a window period (to give) the claimants an opportunity to truly develop their medical disability determination, not just have their checks immediately cut off,” Jenkins said.
Calls began coming into Jenkins’ office this week after the residents received their letters from Social Security. Rep. Jenkins said there was fraud in the Conn-Daugherty controversy but that doesn’t mean residents don’t have legitimate appeals.
“Clearly there were problems with the health care providers, the lawyer and the judge, but we may have individual claimants, through no fault of their own, are caught in this web of deceit,” he said.
The congressman said he did some checking Thursday and found the first time someone could get an appointment with a neurosurgeon to verify someone’s disability would be mid-August. He said more time is needed.

Approximately 1,500 cases are under review, most of those involving Kentucky residents.