Common Legal Hurdles When Applying for SSD/SSI Benefits
Created on January 21, 2016
The government has estimated that 35% of individuals who are eligible to collect Social Security Disability Benefits never apply. This program, led by attorney Maryjean Ellis, is designed to reduce that statistic, by helping attorneys identify and learn to overcome common hurdles that keep disabled individuals from applying and persevering through the administrative process until the claim is paid.
Ms. Ellis introduces the concept of insured status and what can be done when the prospective claimant does not appear to be insured on his or her own record. The Five Step Sequential Evaluation is presented and practitioners will learn the two ways in which claimants can win. Ms. Ellis addresses what is needed to meet or equal the Medical Listings, and how a claim can be won if a Listing is not met or equaled. She then discusses common proof problems in a Social Security Disability claim, including the lack of a supportive treating physician and other "bad facts" such as drug and alcohol abuse. Ms. Ellis looks at Step Four of the Sequential Evaluation and discusses how to bypass that hurdle when a seemingly easy job was performed by the claimant within the past 15 years. Finally, she reviews how a claimant can win at the initial or reconsideration stage at Step Five, by application of the Medical Vocational Grid Rules.
This introductory course is designed to provide practitioners the knowledge to help claimants apply and overcome common problems that too often derail the Social Security Disability claims of deserving individuals.
I. Recognize that an individual must be insured to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits
II. Examine other disability programs potentially available to a claimant not insured on his/her own record
III. Review the basic requirements for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for an individual: the Five Step Sequential Evaluation
IV. Explore methods of winning benefits without a treating physician's support
V. Plan to deal with the inevitable bad facts in a claim
VI. Move past Step Four when your client had an "easy" job in the past
VII. Advance through Step Five by applying the Medical-Vocational Guidelines
VIII. Delight your clients by winning claims at the initial and reconsideration levels!
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