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Administrative Law Judge hearings now routinely include a Vocational Expert (VE).   The “Notice of Hearing” letter  sent to disability claimants includes a copy of the letter to the VE requesting their presence to testify.  Social security  disability claimants are often, and understandably, confused about this “vocational expert”.   Many are unsettled by the prospect of someone associated with the government testifying in their disability hearing. Some questions that I often hear from social security disability claimants…
STEP 1:Start with reality: your doctor does not want to get involved. Your doctor’s opinion on your ability to function in a work-like setting is very important, though it is not required.  But unfortunately most doctors do not want to get involved in helping you win your social security disability benefits.  Its not that they are bad people.  Doctors want to heal, and supporting a disability claim is an admission that they have failed.  Moreover,…
It can be one of the hardest decisions in life.  A physical or mental illness is limiting your life, including the ability to work and make a living.  Many eventually come to ask these questions: “Should I file a claim for social security disability?” “Will I qualify for social security disability?” These can feel like very difficult questions to answer.  No one plans for or expects illness or injury in life that effects their ability…
The Administrative Law Judge hearing is the most important event in a social security disability case.  It’s not an interview, it’s not a deposition, it’s not a preliminary hearing.  The hearing before an administrative law judge is the point in the disability claim where you have the best chances of winning.  If a claim is denied at the ALJ hearing, the chances for success plummet.  For the social security disability claimant in Texas and throughout…
In the last 25 years of handling only social security disability in Dallas Texas, I have seen the waiting time for the Administrative Law Judge hearing go up, and go down. But it has never gone down to anything close to an acceptable level.  Clients asking me all the time” “Why does it take so long to get a hearing”?  (Attorney Nick Ortiz has written a very good article on the subject as well)
Vocational rehabilitation is essentially the process of preparing for, applying for, and securing employment.  The goal of vocational rehabilitation is to enable persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities or impairments or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining, or returning to employment or other useful occupation. The  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (and as amended in 1974)  extended and revised the authorization of grants to States for vocational rehabilitation services, with special emphasis…
Of course you can.  No one has to keep an attorney they are unhappy with.  But whether you will have to pay for that attorney’s services is another matter.  Social security disability attorney haves the right to ask for a Fee even if you have parted ways at the time your claim is approved.   Take a careful look at the contract that you signed.   It will conform to the strict rules social security has
In no particular order, here are the top five “case-killing” responses to the question that all Administrative Law Judge’s will ask: “Why can’t you work?” 1. “I can’t find a job. No one will hire me with my medical background” The ALJ wants to know why you think you can’t work. Anyone hearing this answer will immediately assume that the problem is not the inability to work but rather the inability to find a job. …
Social Media and Social Security Disability Benefits Social media is now an all-present phenomenon.  But it is a relatively new to most of our lives, particularly those over 50 years of age. Our Facebook pages often fail to present a true picture of our lives.  Social science researches have called this phenomenon – when ones Facebook image substantially deviates from their true image – the “false Facebook-self.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330900/. Bob Deutsch, a Cognitive Anthropologist,…
1. SSDI is not a short term solution for an ‘acute’ crisis: its a long term solution for a chronic medical condition This is perhaps the most common misunderstanding I have seen in my 25+ years of social security disability representation in Dallas Fort Worth. The sad fact is most Americans live on the financial edge. According to a 2016 GOBankingRates survey, 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. have only several hundred