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Social Security Disability Law Section


Social Security Disability Newsletter - November 2014

by Sue Bores | Nov 13, 2014

November 2014
E-Newsletter Editor:  Michael Persellin   


Presentation by the Honorable Richard Thrasher, Chief ALJ of MPLS ODAR 

Date:  Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Time:  Noon - 1:30 P.M.
Location:  MSBA Office

The Social Security Disability Law Section is excited to announce that our new chief ALJ has accepted our invitation to speak to our section!  He will discuss the current state of ODAR and outline his goals.  We will also invite him to answer our questions about how any policies and procedures may impact our Social Security practices.

Lunch will start at Noon followed by the CLE program from 12:15-1:15 p.m.  Special meal requests need to be received no later than Tuesday, December 30. 

Chief Administrative Law Judge Richard Thrasher

CLE Credits:
1.0 Standard CLE credits will be applied for | Event Code: 198602

Remote Participation:
Remote attendance is available.  Please indicate that you will attend remotely when registering.  Instructions will be sent via e-mail on Monday, January 5.

Social Security Disability Law Section Member:  Free
MSBA Member but not a member of the Social Security Disability Law Section:  $15.00
Non-MSBA Members:  $20.00
Law Students: Free

Deadline to register is Tuesday, December 30, 2014.  Click here for information on how to register.


The Social Security Disability Law Council will meet after the CLE program on January 6 from 1:30-2:00 p.m.


On July 30, 2014, the Social Security Disability Law Section held its annual meeting and elected the following people as officers and council members:  

Co-Chair:  Andrew Kinney    
Co-Chair:  Michael Persellin         
Secretary:  Gregg Nelson                         
Treasurer:  Emily Cooper                         

Council Members:
Linda Bogut                            
Richard Borland
Samantha Clawson               
Mason Emery                          
Kirk Thompson    


Each and every member of our section is welcome, and encouraged, to submit news for the section newsletter. News is anything our members might find interesting or helpful, and may include a link to a news story, an article you’ve written for another publication, a helpful practice form, or a case summary – anything relative to our practice area. Please send submissions for the January newsletter to the editor at by December 31.


2015 COLA Changes|SSA 

SSA Implements Major Changes to Video Hearing Option|NOSSCR 

SSA Opens New National Data Center|SSA 

Effect of SSA Reduction of Field Office Operating Hours|OIG 

Disability Appeals Backlog is 990,399 Cases Behind|Washington Post 

Social Security Is a Mess|Washington Post 

155,000 Americans Had Social Security Benefits Cut in 2013 Because of Student Debt |Wall Street Journal

More Seniors Carry Student Loan Debt into Retirement|U.S.News &World Report 

Women and Social Security Benefits|AARP

After Losing Caseload, Richfield Rep Payee Placed Under Investigation|StarTribune

Horror Stories Reveal Broader Risk to Vulnerable Adults|StarTribune

Same Sex Spouses Denied Survivor’s Benefits|NY Times


The following opinion was released by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 17, 2014:

Moore v. Colvin, --- F.3d ---, 2014 WL 5293396 (8th Cir.)

The ALJ failed to resolve an apparent conflict between the VE’s testimony and the DOT job descriptions.  The ALJ assessed an RFC that included a limitation that the claimant could only occasionally perform overhead reaching bilaterally.  The VE testified that the claimant could perform the jobs of janitor and cafeteria attendant “clearing tables.”  Both jobs require frequent reaching; though the DOT is silent as to the direction of the reaching.  The ALJ failed to “ask about any possible conflict” between the VE evidence and “information provided in the DOT,” as required by SSR 00-4p.  The ALJ is not absolved of his duty merely because the VE responds “yes” when asked if her testimony is consistent with the DOT.  Remanded.

8th Circuit Case Summaries|ProJusticeMN


Advisory Committee Note regarding the amendment of U.S. District Court – Minnesota Local Rule 7.2 (September 12, 2014):

The rule was amended to require that social security appeals be initially assigned to only a magistrate judge.  The court will presume that the parties consent to disposition by a magistrate judge unless a party notifies the court to the contrary on or before the date that the answer is due.  If a party does notify the court to the contrary, a district judge will also be assigned to the case, the magistrate judge will issue a report and recommendation (R&R), and either or both parties may seek de novo review of the R&R from the district judge.  Thus, these amendments do not in any way affect the substantive rights of parties to social security appeals.

Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Disorder – Final Rules|Fed. Reg.

SSA Publishes Acquiescence Requiring Vocational Specialist (VS) or Vocational Expert (VE) Evidence When an Individual has a Severe Mental Impairment(s) (Brock v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1062 (8th Cir.2012)|Fed. Reg.


May 6-9, 2015, Arlington, VA

October 28-31, 2015, Denver, CO

MSBA Social Security Disability Law Section
Annual Report
2016 - 2017 

Section Membership
As of June 23, 2017, the Section has 86 members.

Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $1,557.26 as of May 31, 2017.

CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 5 programs/events in fiscal year 2016-17.   

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review – Current Issues and Annual Meeting

May 23, 2017


1.0 Standard


A Look at the Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Health Disorders

March 21, 2017


1.0 Standard


An Analysis of Mental Health Claims

January 17, 2017


1.0 Standard


SSD Law Brown Bag / Roundtable Discussion: MN Statute: Section 144.292 Patients’ Rights and the $10 Medical Records Fee

November 15, 2016




Working with Non-citizens on Social Security Claims

October 18, 2016


1.0 Standard


Annual Meeting and Election Results

The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on May 23, 2017 and 31 people attended. 

The following Officers and Council Members were elected and/or re-elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council starting July 1, 2017:

Co-Chair:  Emily Cooper, Cooper & Reid LLC
Co-Chair:  Sarah Soucie Eyberg
Secretary:  Asha Sharma, Disability Partners
Treasurer:  Tony Mannella, Midwest Disability PA Inc

Council Members:
David Christianson, Christianson Law
Samantha Clawson, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services 
Shelley Jensen, Judicare of Anoka County Inc
Paul McGrath, Disability Partners
Laura Melnick, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
Gregg Nelson, Nelson Law Office
Michael Persellin, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance 
Kirk Thompson, Cronan Thompson

Submitted By:

Emily Cooper, Section Co-Chair
Date: July 5, 2017