Unpublished Disposition, 877 F.2d 64 (9th Cir. 1976)Annotate this Case
Larry R. SPRINGER, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Louis W. SULLIVAN, Secretary of Health and Human Services,** Defendant-Appellee.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted June 7, 1989.Decided June 13, 1989.
Before SCHROEDER, BEEZER, and BRUNETTI, Circuit Judges.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), appellant, Larry R. Springer, appeals the district court order finding substantial evidence to support the Secretary's determination that although appellant's disability began August 1, 1976, he was only entitled, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 402(j) (1), to benefits retroactive to July 1983, twelve months preceding the date he filed the application.
Springer was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis in 1976. Springer went to the Port Angeles Social Security Office in August, 1976 with the intention of applying for Social Security benefits based on his disability.
Springer contends that he did not file an application for disability benefits because a Social Security employee advised him that he "did not meet the earning requirements for disability benefits and there was no point in filing an application [for disability benefits]." In order to be entitled to disability benefits an applicant must file a signed form or statement that the Social Security Administration accepts as an application for benefits. 20 C.F.R. Secs. 404.315(b), 404.303 (1987). Springer declared, in an affidavit presented for the first time to the Appeals Council, that he signed a form during his visit to the Social Security office in 1976. In the administrative hearing, Springer described in detail the events that took place during his visit to the Social Security office in 1976 and failed to mention that he had signed a form. There was no evidence of a signed form. The Social Security employees stated that Springer was seen in the Social Security office and not that he filed an application or any other document. Hence, substantial evidence supports the Secretary's finding that Springer did not file a signed statement or application form during his visit to the Social Security office in 1976, or anytime thereafter until July of 1984.
Springer's contention that the government is estopped to deny that plaintiff applied for disability benefits in 1976 is meritless. Under Schweiker v. Hansen, 450 U.S. 785 (1981) (per curiam), a Social Security employee's negligence in providing misinformation to one making inquiry about benefits is not sufficient to cause estoppel against the government.