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Gordon Gates specializes in Social Security disability law, and he handles claims at every level of the Social Security disability claim process. He assists clients with initial applications for disability benefits, with appeals of denied claims, and with hearings by an administrative law judge.

Gordon has successfully appealed unfavorable administrative law judge decisions the Social Security Appeals Council and to U.S. District Court (District of Maine) to have those claims remanded for new hearings.

Gordon attended Maine Maritime Academy and Tulane University Law School. At Tulane, he served as Senior Articles Editor of the Tulane Law Review and graduated magna cum laude. He was admitted to practice law in Maine in 1991. Since 2005, he has concentrated his law practice on Social Security disability and SSI cases.

Gordon is the publisher of Social Security Disability Lawyer, a nationally-read legal blog. He presented at the Fall 2010 conference of National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) on the topic of Writing Hearing Briefs for the ALJ.

Social Security regulates the fees paid to those repesesenting disability claimants before the SSA. A contingency fee of 25% is permitted, and charged by pretty much everyone who does this type of work.

For those using the fee agreement process that allows quicker payment of the fee, Social Security imposes a cap on the fee

I will be attending the annual NOSSCR Conference in Austin, Texas this week. NOSSCR is a critically important organization for those of us who represent clients before the Social Security Administration, and I am happy to be a sustaining member.

If you are attending the conference, please say hello.

Cooking in a commercial kitchen is a demanding job. You are constantly on your feet, using your hands frequently, and lifting and carrying stuff around the kitchen. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles characterizes the job of “Cook” as a Medium exertional, skilled job. That means that if the person seeking benefits is no longer able

SSA has released the “waterfall” chart for fiscal year 2021.

The chart show what percentage of disability claims were granted and denied nationwide at each level of review:

  • 36% were granted after an initial review of the application. That’s a bit more than 1 out of 3.
  • Just 13% of the claims appealed were granted

Starting Thursday, April 7, the Social Security Administration will restore in-person services, including for “walk-ins” who do not have appointments, in their field offices.

This is great news for the general public.

Almost all the hospital groups now have patient portals, which give patients online access to their medical records, test results, upcoming appointments, and more.

When developing a disability claim, I find that I am asking clients more and more frequently to provide me with the user name and password for their patient portal account.

Those seeking Social Security disability benefits often contact a lawyer after they receive a notice of disapproved claim in the mail. That denial letter offers some explanation of why the claim was disapproved, but it is often too vague to be much help to the lawyer developing the claim.

After an appeal of that initial

Lately Social Security has been sending initial disability claims filed online to a Workplace Support Unit (WSU), instead of the local field office. There are several of these WSUs around the country, set up to do overflow work. I have had initial claims filed online sent to various WSUs, including Boston, Tampa, and Birmingham.

Once