clip board and stethoscope in focus in the foreground, doctor holding a patient's hand out of focus in the background

Report: Preventing Wasteful and Inequitable Consultative Examinations in Social Security Disability Claims

Today, advocates from New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), the Urban Justice Center (UJC), and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) released a new report about wasteful and harmful Social Security policies, which discriminate against adults and children with disabilities. The report focuses on issues arising in New York State and Pennsylvania, but this is…

IMPACT: Billie Washington

Billie Washington was struggling to make ends meet. A former home care attendant, she was no longer able to work due to her rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other illnesses. While waiting for her disability benefits hearing, she began receiving General Assistance. Ms. Washington carefully budgeted the monthly $205.00 to cover her rent, toiletries, medical co-payments, and public transportation to get to doctor’s appointments. When she found out that General Assistance was being eliminated, Ms. Washington felt like she had the rug yanked out from under her. Describing the feeling of desperation, she said, “I was crushed. I just, I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

IMPACT: Serving Those Who Served

Mr. J was having a difficult time using his hands and feet. After developing arthritis and deformities in his joint muscles, Mr. J was forced to use special orthopedic shoes, ankle braces and a cane, and he was left unable to work, making it extremely hard to support his family in Philadelphia.Mr. J is a veteran of the Korean War. Having served in the Army infantry, he suffered from severe frostbite during the War – the catalyst for his arthritic condition. As a veteran battling a debilitating illness, Mr. J should have been eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. Unfortunately, when he applied for such benefits in 2005, the VA denied his request, noting that all of his medical record had been destroyed, and that there was no record of his injury. Mr. J tried to appeal, but to no avail. Frustrated and out of options, he sought help, and Community Legal Services was there to take his case.