The Social Security Administration used an unconstitutional method to rescind the disability benefits it had awarded to 11 clients of an attorney who was later disbarred and convicted of a $550 million fraud scheme, a divided federal appeals court held.
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the government’s right to reexamine whether the former clients of Eric Conn were, in fact, eligible for the disability benefits they had long been receiving. However, the judges split 2-1 on whether the Social Security Administration could assume the original medical records were tainted by fraud, and therefore exclude them, without giving the beneficiaries a chance to contest their exclusion.
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