Tuesday, February 25, 2003

The Third Circuit case of Sanfilippo v. Barnhart stands for the proposition that the Social Security offset should be calculated right the first time. The Claimant did not get a lifetime pro-ration in his first Order approving a Compromise and Release. When the Administration made a determination that the offset would be $195.15 per week, the Claimant went back and got an amended Order of the WCJ setting forth a lifetime pro-ration and an offset of $29.59. An ALJ accepted the Order, but the Administration appealed and the District Court reversed. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court finding the amended Order of the WCJ was only for the purpose of changing the Administration's initial determination. The Court held the Administration's initial determination was consistent with law and should be upheld.
This case did not hold that a lifetime pro-ration could be disregarded by the Administration if it is included in the original Order on a Compromise and Release. The SSA's Program Operations Manual System (POMS) still calls for deference to the rate specified in the lump sum award.
Thank You to the Honorable Michael Rosen and and Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Crum for sharing this case.

No comments: