Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Frabbiele v. Saul

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

August 22, 2019

JOHN FRABBIELE
v.
ANDREW SAUL, COMM'R OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN.

         SECTION: "S" (4)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          MARY ANN VIAL LEMMON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's Objections (Rec. Doc. 12) to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (Rec. Doc. 11) are SUSTAINED, and this matter is hereby REMANDED to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration ("SSA"), for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff appeals the decision of the Commissioner of the SSA finding that he must repay $73, 180 overpaid to him by the SSA. The Magistrate Judge recommended the appeal be denied, and plaintiff filed the instant objections.

         Plaintiff, John Frabbiele, served as representative payee for his son, Anthony Frabbiele, when his son began receiving social security benefits on September 1, 2001. In March 2006, his son was hospitalized at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System (hereinafter, "mental hospital"), where he remained until March 2014. Upon his son's hospitalization, plaintiff verbally informed the SSA of the hospitalization, and plaintiff testified that he was verbally informed at that time that it would not affect the Social Security payments. Also, in his first representative payee report filed after his son's admission to the hospital, he reported that his son was living at the mental hospital. In subsequent representative payee reports, from 2007 to 2014, plaintiff accurately reported that his son's living situation was unchanged.

         After informing Social Security that his son was admitted to the mental hospital, the plaintiff continued to receive benefits. However, in a letter dated April 20, 2014, the SSA informed plaintiff that Anthony Frabbiele's benefits would be stopped because he was imprisoned for conviction of a crime. On April 29, 2014, Social Security sent a letter to plaintiff stating that he had received an overpayment of $75, 538, spanning the period from March 2006 through March 2014, while his son was in the mental hospital. It further stated that $2, 358.00 of Patricia Frabbiele's benefits was applied to the overpayment, and the remaining balance due was $73, 180.00. Since the overpayment was identified, plaintiff, who has cancer that requires him to get regular treatment at Ochsner, has had his own Social Security benefits withheld.

         Plaintiff challenged this finding, arguing that his son had not been imprisoned for conviction of a crime, that he had informed the SSA of his son's residency at the mental hospital, and that the Social Security payments had been used to cover his son's expenses, and notably, $50, 000.00 had been used to purchase a lot and trailer for his son to live in upon his release from the mental hospital.

         At the hearing, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not at fault in causing the overpayment, because he had adequately and accurately notified the SSA of his son's living arrangements. The decision enumerated the reported expenses on his son's behalf for the period at issue, based on the representative payee reports. In her decision, the ALJ noted that there was no supporting documentation for the trailer and land purchase.

         Plaintiff filed a request for review with the Social Security Appeals Council.[1] In connection with that review, he provided a copy of the bill of sale for the land and trailer purchased for his son for $50, 000.00. However, on February 1, 2018, the Appeals Council issued a denial. The denial letter specifically recited that the new evidence "does not show a reasonable probability that it would change the outcome of the [ALJ's] decision. We did not consider and exhibit this evidence."

         DISCUSSION

         Standard of Review

         A district court's review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the SSA under 42 U.S.C. 405(g) is limited to “whether (1) the decision is supported by substantial evidence and (2) proper legal standards were used to evaluate the evidence.” Martinez v. Chater, 64 F.3d 172, 173 (5th Cir. 1995); Austin v. Shalala, 994 F.2d 1170, 1174 (5th Cir. 1993). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance, and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Coastal Production Serv. Inc. v. Hudson, 555 F.3d 426, 430 (5th Cir. 2009).

         Applicabl ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.