M.H v. State, 092613 AKAPA, 3AN-12-00000CI

Docket Nº:3AN-12-00000CI
Opinion Judge:Erin B. Marston, Superior Court Judge
Party Name:M H, APPELLANT, v. STATE OF ALASKA DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH AND SOCIALSERVICES, DIVISION OF PUBLIC) ASSISTANCE, Appellee.
Case Date:September 26, 2013
Court:Superior Court of Alaska
 
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M H, APPELLANT,

v.

STATE OF ALASKA DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH AND SOCIALSERVICES, DIVISION OF PUBLIC) ASSISTANCE, Appellee.

No. 3AN-12-00000CI

Superior Court Of Alaska, Third Judicial District, Anchorage

September 26, 2013

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

Erin B. Marston, Superior Court Judge

This matter comes before the Court as an administrative appeal of Appellee Department of Health and Social Service's (the "Department") denial following a review of Mr. M H's request for state Interim Assistance ("IA") while awaiting a final Social Security Administration ("SSA") decision. Mr. H argues two points. First, that the Department's denial of his state IA request was improper because it failed to inquire into all five of the factors found within the federal Social Security framework. Second, Mr. H argues that the decision was made during an administrative adjudication without him being heard on the issue and violated due process. The court vacates the Commissioner's decision and remands to the Department for a disposition in accordance with requirements set forth by the SSA 5-part test. Because the court finds that Mr. H is entitled to a full hearing under the federal SSA factors, the court does not address Mr. H's due process claim.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Mr. H applied for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") and Alaska IA in December 2011 due to his inability to work because of alleged psychiatric issues that resulted from a violent assault in 2002. Mr. H received a hearing on March 21, 2012. Prior to a final decision being made, the determination of eligibility was transferred from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Administration due to a new executive order taking effect.

In July 2012, the Alaska Alaska Office Of Administrative Hearings ("OAH") Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued a proposed order that determined under the five-step SSA standard that Mr. H was qualified to receive interim assistance under the Alaska Adult Public Assistance ("APA") code for his psychiatric issues. The SSA uses a five-step evaluation process in making disability determinations.1 Under the SSA standard, if the SSA finds the applicant is either disabled or not disabled at any step it does not consider subsequent steps, if it cannot determine either, it will proceed to the next step.2 The five steps include: (1) the current work activity of the applicant; (2) the medical severity of the applicant's impairments; (3) the consideration of a separate set of medical issues; (4) the residual functional capacity of the applicant; and (5) whether the applicant can make an adjustment to alternative employment.3

In August 2012...

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