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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In the New England states, we are fortunate to receive 75-day notice of disability hearings. This is a carry-over of the DSI process which was implemented in SSA Region I. We also must submit evidence 5 business days ahead of the hearing. See 20 C.F.R. 405.331. In the rest of the country, you only receive 20 days notice of administrative law judge hearing, but you can bring new evidence to the hearing, and it must be considered by the ALJ.

Ideally, all your evidence is submitted well ahead of the hearing. This is one of the best practices of Social Security claimants' representatives. Nevertheless, sometimes there is an important piece of evidence, usually a medical record or a treating doctor's opinion, that could not be obtained earlier.

The regulation specifies 5 business days. Weekends and holidays are not counted. And when counting the 5 days, our judges at the Portland, Maine ODAR do not count the day of the hearing. As a result, the 5-day rule is really an 8-day rule. For a hearing that is held on a Thursday, your evidence must be received by Wednesday of the previous week. This is a trap for the unwary. 

Continue Reading In New England, the 5-day rule is really an 8-day rule

I like to get a statement from a spouse for Social Security disability claims. I think a non-medical, or "lay," statement is helpful to the claim. These statements are often quite powerful, because they describe the loss that has accompanied the inability to work, and often describe the struggles the household has undergone as a result

As I talk with clients and prospective clients, and dig into the evidence supporting a claim for disability benefits, clients sometimes say something like this: “I don’t understand why my claim wasn’t approved, I have a friend/neighbor/acquaintance who got disability benefits right away, and there is nothing wrong with him/her.”

I have heard variations of

Law firms practicing Social Security disability law come in all shapes and sizes, from "nation-wide" practices to one person offices. Is there a right size? In my view, a law firm should be “right-sized” for the needs of its clients.

More important than size however, is the distinguishing characteristics of the lawyer and firm. Look for

The NOSSCR website has a new feature that is very useful. The site has a set of Google "search boxes," each focused only on the SSA website, or the Social Security Act, or the Regulations, or the Rulings, or the HALLEX, or the POMS, or Google Scholar. Take a look.

This is a very