Ashe v. Saul, No. 20-15531 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's judgment dismissing as time-barred plaintiff's challenge to the Appeals Council's decision affirming the denial of social security disability benefits. The district court found that declarations from plaintiff and her attorney were insufficient to rebut the presumption that she received notice five days after the denial, triggering a 60-day deadline to file a challenge in federal court.
The panel held that plaintiff has made a sufficient "reasonable showing" to rebut the presumption that notice was received within five days of its issuance. In this case, the combination of circumstances—including unrebutted declarations from both plaintiff and her attorney, an officer of the court, that neither received the notice, where the face of the notice indicates that both were supposed to have been mailed copies—is sufficient to rebut the presumption and shift the burden of proving actual receipt to the government. Because the district court did not perform this burden-shifting analysis, the panel remanded for further proceedings.