Disability hearings for Kentuckians postponed until Jan. 7

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SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) -- The Social Security Administration says it will temporarily suspend hearings for hundreds of eastern Kentucky residents trying to keep disability benefits.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the reprieve gives residents more time to receive files which could contain medical evidence establishing their eligibility for benefits.

The federal agency notified about 3,700 clients of former lawyer Eric Conn that they would have to defend their disability status in court after Conn pleaded guilty to bribing judges and doctors to approve disability checks for his clients.

Officials started hearing cases in August for about 1,900 people.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers said he expressed concern to the Social Security Administration about the hearings because many residents hadn't received files that contained legal and medical information.

The hearings are set to resume on Jan. 7.