Court of Appeals Overturns DES' Denial of Disability Benefits

The Court of Appeals recently reversed a Dept’ of Economic Security decision denying disability benefits a mentally disable individual.  DES relied on its own regulations (which are not published in the administrative code nor filed with the Secretary of State) as a basis for denial.   DES based its denial on DDD Policy and Procedure Manual Section 502.4(A)(6).   DES’ basis for determining level of intelligence for determining eligibility was stricter and much narrower than the applicable statute.  During oral argument ADES conceded that the appellant while he did not meet the department’s eligibility, he did meet eligibility under the relevant statute.   First, the Court reiterated the longstanding premises that administrative bodies cannot go beyond the scope of the plain language of the legislature nor can it create regulations contradictory to the legislature’s intent.  Second, since ADES acknowledged that appellant was otherwise entitled to receive services, the Court remanded and directed the Appeals Board to determine that appellant continues to be eligible for services.