Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
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I’m not the person I used to be.

Social Security disability applicants sometimes tell me this when I meet with them to discuss their claims. At the hearing, I will ask them to explain to the judge why they are a different person today than when they were able to work. It is usually compelling

When I prepare a client for a hearing, I always urge the client to provide specific examples of functional limitations…. better than blanket statements.

I have learned over the years that the more time I spend with the client, the better I am able to tease out these stories. I have long felt that they

At the close of a hearing, sometimes post-hearing argument is needed. Social Security's rules allow for oral and/or written post-hearing argument, upon request. See HALLEX section I-2-6-76.

I prefer to submit a post-hearing brief, rather than make a statement at the close of the hearing. I think a brief has far more impact.

I had a hearing recently with a terrific Social Security administrative law judge. The experience got me thinking about the characteristics you want in a judge. Here are a few:

Good listener – the purpose of a Social Security disability hearing is to take testimony from the claimant. You want a judge who is actively

Each Spring, the SSA releases statistics from the previous fiscal year in an easy to understand format, the "waterfall" chart. The chart shows the percentage of claims approved and denied at the various levels of review. Here is the latest chart, for FY 2013:

The chart shows that allowed claims are down at every level

Many clients make first contact with me after receiving a denial letter for an initial application for Social Security disability benefits. It is crucial to appeal the denial of your benefits right away.

After an appeal, the next step in most states (including Maine) is Reconsideration (in New Hampshire, however, disability claims go directly from an

As promised, the SSA has updated its online services for representatives to include the name of the administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned to claims at the hearing level.

Just log in to your online services account, go to Electronic Records Express (ERE) Home, and select "Get Hearing office Status Report." Both the "quick view" version

The "secret ALJ" policy implemented in late 2011 has come to an end. For the past year and a half or so, the particular administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned to your disability case was not disclosed prior to the day of the hearing. It was a terrible policy, and now the policy has changed.