Boulder Creek man with disability sues commissioner of Social Security

By Travis Zuellig | Jan 31, 2016

SAN JOSE — A Boulder Creek man with a disability is suing the commissioner of Social Security and demanding judicial review of the decision made by the commissioner.

W.N. Kleinert filed a lawsuit on Dec. 28, 2015, in the Northern District of California District Court San Jose Division against the Commissioner of Social Security Administration over a case that involves collection of his deceased mother’s trust.

According to the claim, Kleinert is completely disabled due to a left arm amputation when he was 21. On Dec. 4, 2011, Kleinert’s mother, Alice G. Kleiner, died and she was the settlor of the family trust. Following her death, the California Superior Court modified the trust by court order for the Walter N. Kleinert Special Needs Trust to receive the share of the mother’s trust instead of him individually, the suit states.

SSA informed Kleinert that the special needs trust was a countable resource because the trust was self-funded. Kleinert requested reconsideration, but was denied and that special needs trust was not a grantor trust but a third-party trust, the suit states. A notice was sent to Kleinert that the SSA Appeal’s Council was going to reopen the case.

Kleinert is seeking the court find that the SSA Appeals Council did not have “good cause” to reopen the case and that Kleinert was prevented by the spendthrift clause of his mother’s trust to demand distribution of his share of the trust before the distribution actually occurred. James D. Palmer Jr. of Menlo Park will represent the plaintiff.

Northern District of California District Court San Jose Division Case number: 5:15-cv-06111

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