Friday, June 5, 2015

Social Security backs off suspension of benefits for 80 W.Va. residents

Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) released a statement Thursday announcing the Social Security Administration is reversing its suspension of benefits for nearly 80 West Virginians.
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.
“Families affected by the suspension of benefits worried about how to make ends meet in this tight economy. The Social Security Administration’s decision to reverse this suspension of benefits gives claimants immediate financial piece of mind as we wait for SSA’s announcement of a fair due process review of these claims,” Jenkins stated.
Originally, those notified only had 10 days to contact Social Security or face losing their benefits this month, but Jenkins fought for more time. Residents received their letters from Social Security last week after there was fraud found in the Conn-Daugherty controversy.
According to the release, Jenkins said him and Rep. Hal Rogers met with SSA officials Wednesday to ask for more time to provide evidence to them.
“While it is imperative that waste and fraud not be tolerated, that does not mean benefits should be terminated without due process or evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of claimants,” he said.
Jenkins said last week he found the first time someone could schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon to verify someone’s disability would be mid-August.
Nearly 1,500 cases are being reviewed, mostly including Kentucky residents.