The Arizona Court of Appeals recently decided that the Arizona Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) must prove that a person receiving benefits is no longer eligible for those services. In A.C. V. ADES (C.A. 1 7/21/2020), the Court rejected DDD's argument that a minor, called A.C. in the case, had to prove
that he was still disabled. DDD had provided benefits to A.C. until he reached the age of 8. At that point, DDS informed A.C.'s family that they intended to terminate his benefits.
DDD told the court that it was fair to shift the burden of proof to A.C. and his family for a variety of reasons. One was that they would have better access to his medical records. DDD further claimed that A.C. and his family could willfully withhold relevant information from DDD in an attempt to keep him eligible. The court discarded these positions, noting that DDD is legally obligated to gather A.C.'s medical records and to reevaluate his condition on a timely basis. If DDD did this, they would have all of A.C.'s medical information.
The court went on to castigate DDD for failing to provide the benefits to which A.C. was entitled. The court also noted that DDD had not properly documented A.C.'s substantial functional limitations.
Make Them Prove The Disabilities Are Gone
This is an important decision that will benefit those persons whom the DDD is trying to terminate benefits. If DDD notifies you that they plan to stop benefits, remember that it is on them to prove that the child in question no longer requires those benefits. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.