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All posts by Kimberly McQueen

Perspective

We talk a lot here about the critical importance of getting medical care to support your disability claim. What is sometimes not understood, however, is that we still need you to tell us about where you have been. Nearly all medical treatment you receive is likely to have some sort of impact on your claim, but if we are not aware of it, the Social Security office probably will not know about it either. Continue reading

The importance of regular medical treatment

One of the most important strategies in proving a disability is by having medical evidence to support your claim. In times when you cannot work and finances are a major struggle you may think it is too much to continue to see your physican(s) but it is extremely important to continue to do so. Your physician who has seen you throughout this time, who knows your disability from a professional medical stand point, can be the defining factor between approval and denial of your claim.

The best and most effective way to show their support is through the medical source statements we request they fill out for us. These forms are crucial in showing the ALJ what your limitations are and describing your condition medically.

In the end having continued to regularly see your treating physicians, and following their medical advice, will make a huge difference in your case.

 

Magic act

In my previous blog post I talked about the difficulty several of our clients have obtaining any kind of medical treatment due to financial difficulties. It can certainly seem as if we as your representative are asking you to pull a rather large rabbit out of your hat by insisting you go see your doctor. Fortunately we have a small bag of tricks to help you out. Continue reading

Social Security Administration and Attorney Fees

When a claimant hires an attorney, Social Security actually governs how they are allowed to charge a fee. Social Security goes one step further and actually withholds the fees directly from the retroactive benefits that are due a client and sends the balance of those funds after they deduct the fees. For this service they charge a service fee to the attorney (never the claimant). Continue reading

Finding the right disability attorney is critical

Wow! It has happened again. I met with a potential client who has a very winnable Social Security Disability Claim. So why didn’t she win? Well one of the reasons could be that the Social Security Disability attorney she hired decided 3 weeks before the claimant’s disability hearing not to represent the claimant any longer. So the claimant ended up at the Social Security Disability hearing by herself, with no representation.

Why is this so terrible? Because she had hired another disability attorney and this attorney dropped the claimant’s claim three weeks before the Social Security Disability hearing. The reason the attorney gave this poor woman for dropping her claim? Because she had attempted to return to work doing a different job. This should have been brought to the Administrative Law Judge’s attention and the attorney should have lauded this woman’s attempt to return to some other type of work. This claimant had been off of work for 18 months because of her disabilities, and attempted to return to work doing a different type of job. Why did she do this? Because the Social Security Administration had, on two separate denials, concluded based on their review of the medical records, this claimant should be able to return to work doing something other than her former profession. The claimant attempted it and because of her disabilities she could not do the work at a different type of job.

Not only did this other attorney drop the claim, she did not even bother to tell the claimant that she could ask for a postponement while she found new counsel. So this woman, with clear disabilities, and supporting medical records ended up in front of the one of the most difficult judges in the hearing office. One whose approval rate is far below the national average and who spent less than five minutes with the claimant before telling her he had heard enough and ultimately denied her claim.

Unfortunately, this poor woman found us after she received her denial and because of this our options are very limited. So, I urge everyone out there, when you are hiring a disability attorney, do not be afraid to question them regarding the way they handle their clients.

Remember, as long as you yourself are doing everything you can to win your Social Security Disability claim, you have an absolute right to expect that your attorney is going to be there with you through the hearing as well.

The Social Security disability payment process, or what I like to call “The Land of Oz”

In my dual role, I sometimes feel like Glenda from the Wizard of Oz, as I start a client on their way down the not always golden road through the land of the Wicked. Like Glenda, I “look” in every now and then to make sure that our clients are still on the “yellow brick road” to reach the Land of Oz, or what we call “The Payment Center”! Continue reading

Nearly 6 million new claims a year means getting Social Security disability is a long process

The Social Security Administration, family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers or referral agencies refer many calls to local disability attorneys to get help with questions about disability claims. Scott E. Davis, P.C. gets calls daily from potential new disability claimants with a wide array of questions and concerns. One of the most common questions that we get is “Why does it take so long to get disability benefits?” and while we would prefer to answer all of the questions we get, there is simply no one good answer to this. Continue reading

Social Security disability benefits: it is your money!

When I first meet with a potential client, one of the biggest hurdles I find that I have to help them over is their own idea that they are asking for a handout. Our clients come from all walks of life, and for the most part have worked since they were in their early teens and never thought about the disability program that Social Security Administration makes them pay for. Continue reading