Do you know who is handling your Missouri Disability Hearing?
I was at the Springfield office yesterday and witnessed it yet again, someone who hired a representative over the internet or 1 800 TV ad, without meeting them or speaking with the lawyer personally, meeting their representative moments before their disability hearing.
This is one of the many downsides of the “ease” or hiring a “disability advocate”. Many of these outfits have no lawyers on staff and just hire whoever has a free couple of hours when the hearing is scheduled. That is why YOU should take the time and investigate who is handling your Springfield Missouri Disability Hearing.
Unfortunately, this in not uncommon. How can a lawyer meeting a client for the first time 10 minutes before the hearing prepare that person for their testimony? If you go to your initial free consultation and don’t meet your attorney, or only briefly meet your attorney before being handed off to office staff, this may happen to you.
Or worse, if you fill out a few forms and then someone claims to be representing you contacts you. (Fire them). Is it easy for you to do this? Sure. However, these companies are playing a numbers game in the applications process and really aren’t prepared to actually try your case at an appeal hearing.
My approach is much different. I always schedule a face to face meeting with my disability clients in my office prior to his/her Social Security disability hearing. Usually, I try to meet several times prior to the actual hearing date to discuss the hearing procedures and to practice answering the questions that are likely going to be asked. This is not a rehearsal or attempt to get “canned” answers, but rather to get my clients to understand the hearing procedure so they know what to expect and are not overwhelmed with the process.
Few people are comfortable in front of strangers talking about a disability and the difficulties it causes in daily life and in finding and keeping a job. It can definitely help your case to have an attorney explain what may happen at the hearing in advance so you are more prepared to give complete and informative answers.
Every judge has his or her own style of conducting hearings. Some judges rely more on the attorney to ask the questions, while some judges ask the bulk of the questions themselves. Regardless of whether the judge or your disability attorney asks the questions, there is certain information that every claimant should know and be able to discuss clearly and accurately.
Your attorney should help you prepare this information and if he or she does not, it can hurt the outcome of your disability claim. Be sure you receive personal attention from your attorney. Ask questions about the hearing and what you should prepare. You see when you meet your Missouri Social Security Disability lawyer matters.
If you would like more information about the Social Security disability application process or the appeals process, please request one of my FREE ebook reports.
(Don’t worry I won’t sell or give your email to anyone)
There is lots of advertising by “Social Security Representatives” on TV and the Internet who offer representation in Springfield Missouri disability claims.
Did you many of these companies do not hire lawyers to try your disability case? A “representative” usually is not a lawyer. In fact, there are no requirements to become a representative. You do not even need a college degree, let alone a law degree or passing a State Bar examination in order to practice. You merely need to register with the Social Security Administration and start practicing law without a license. If it were not for the federal statute permitting this type of representation, it would be a criminal offense for the unauthorized practice of law.
The actual authority for a “Representative” from the Social Security Administration in its Programs Operations Manual Systems (POMS) GN 03910.020 which only defines a “representative” as “generally known to have a good character and reputation” and “capable of giving valuable help to the claimant in connection to the claim.” There are no subdefinitions for these requirements, nor do representative have to offer proof or even swear to uphold any standard of practice. The merely need to register and practice. Getting a driver’s license involves much more than becoming a “representative” for Social Security practice.
A “representative” is not required to have any specific training.
Did you know if your representative loses your case, that person cannot file a lawsuit in federal court in order to reverse a bad decision by an administrative law judge. Why? Because they are not licensed lawyers and have not been taught the law and procedures by accredited institutions involved with filing and prosecuting a lawsuit. By the same reasoning, many representatives lack similar requisite skills in understanding the Social Security law and can offer only limited assistance. To trust a insufficiently trained person to undertake complex hearing issues is a recipe for disaster.
So, why do these “representatives” make such incredible claims of success?? The representatives are not held to any ethical standards as lawyers are. Therefore, these representative can claim anything without any recourse for their untruthful claims. Whereas, lawyer advertising is carefully controlled and only limited representative are permitted under each state’s ethical guidelines. Violation of state ethical guidelines can result in a suspension from practice.
Worse yet, most of the big advertisers (both lawyers and non-lawyers) will appoint a “representative” to your case without telling you that you are not being represented by a lawyer. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to ask whether you are getting lawyer representation. Even then, you may get the response that they are “supervised” by an attorney. Unless you are working directly with the attorney and that lawyer is the one responsible for handling your claim in court, your chances of winning can be significantly diminished.
So, when it comes down to it, is it worth risk of hiring a Social Security “representative” where you can hire an experienced lawyer for the same cost?? This decision is a no-brainer.
Statistics do show, that individuals who seek the advice of an attorney before they apply for disability insurance benefits, are far more successful at obtaining all the benefits to which they are entitled.
However if you are over 50 you must not make a fatal mistake in the application process that can wreck you case. You should contact my office BEFORE you apply.
You can fill out a FREE evaluation form.
Free Social Security disability evaluation for Missouri and Arkansas residents.
Think you may qualify for disability in Missouri or Arkansas? Would you like a free evaluation by an experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer to know your chances? Want answers on what you can do to benefit your family?
The Krebs Law Firm LLC offers a free case evaluation if you have questions about your Social Security disability claim. Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a Missouri disability lawyer or Northwest Arkansas Social Security disability lawyer, but we only handle Social Security cases on a contingent fee basis.
In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the benefits that you deserve. If you would like to speak to Jason Krebs simply call (417) 883-5886 or Toll Free 1 800 345-0535 for your free case evaluation or to discuss your appeal today! Do not delay as you only have 60 days to ask for a reconsideration if you live in Arkansas and 60 days to appeal in Missouri.
Please note that filing out this form does not mean my office has accepted representation and no attorney client relationship is formed by submitting this form.
Also filing out this review form is not filing your appeal and this website in no way related to the Social Security Administration.
What can be learned from these patterns of denials? The most important concept to take away is that if you are a claimant, you will need to seek medical treatment. In my review of cases, no treatment equals no benefits. Another important lesson is that you have to collect the evidence if you want it considered. You cannot depend on Social Security to do it. Finally, you have to hang in there and expect to appeal. The system is not set up to look at your case objectively from the start. Chances are good that your claim will be denied at the initial and reconsideration stages through no fault of your own. If you do not appeal, you cannot collect benefits.