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I had a stretch of time this summer where our little Social Security disability law firm had very few hearings scheduled, due to slowdowns at the Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire hearing offices. I devised a four-point strategy to use the extra time of our two lawyers, our paralegal, and our legal assistant. 


NOSSCR (the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives) sent out a good reminder to its members recently by email: SSA will divide the authorized fee among all appointed representatives in the same firm.

Here is an excerpt of that reminder:

When a claimant appoints more than one concurrent representative in the same firm and

I am in a stretch of time where my local hearing offices (Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire) have scheduled only a very few hearings for my clients. Naturally, the summer season in Maine is a perfect time to have things slow down a little. Everyone can get caught up on vacation while the weather is beautiful.

I have been working on a federal court brief, which will be filed today. Here in Maine, we have local rule 16.3, which streamlines Social Security appeals. These cases are routed to the magistrate judge in Portland, Hon. John Rich III, who decides the appeal based upon an Itemized Statement of Errors filed by the

Just a few short years ago, Social Security disability claim files were paper, and getting a copy of the claim file meant literally making a photocopy of the file. You still see paper files every now and then, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Most claim files are now electronic

I attended a good panel discussion regarding on the record requests at the last NOSSCR Conference in Chicago. There were several good points made, and I will summarize a few here.

  • You should write your OTR for a "middle of the road" judge. That is the likely perspective of the attorney advisor reviewing your request.

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the medical record is not always sufficient for a disability determination. A disability examiner (or an administrative law judge) may schedule a consultative exam (CE) with a physician or a psychologist to assist them in assessing your medical condition and functional limitations. 

The claimant should plan on