Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Disability Lawyer in South Carolina offers Disability Hearing Advice

Client Q is a man in his mid 40s. He originally had no legal disability representation and went to a hearing before a Federal Administrative Law Judge. Client Q had his pastor attend the hearing with him. Apparently, the pastor, with good intentions toward Client Q, became very frustrated with the judge. Later without Client Q’s knowledge, the pastor sent a scathing letter to Social Security Administration complaining about the judge.

The judge directed Client Q to obtain legal representation. Client Q came to me and we began to work up his file.

When I reviewed his file, there was ample evidence of Client Q’s chronic seizures and low intellectual functioning, there was not a complete psychological work-up. I explained this to Client Q and his family, and a family member agreed to advance the cost for the testing. The report of the testing revealed in great detail the limitations on Client Q’s level of functioning.

When Client Q originally filed his claim in 2004, he alleged he had been disabled since 2002. Despite there having been ample evidence in the file and no real changes in Client Q’s condition over the years, the judge indicated at the hearing that he would approve the claim if we amended our alleged onset date to January 1, 2006. As this judge has been known to completely deny a claim where the claimant refused to accept an amended onset date as requested at the hearing, I conferred with Client N and we agreed to accept the earlier onset date.

In thinking about the result, I am firmly convinced that had it not been for the pastor’s letter complaining about the disability judge, Client N would have been approved back to his original alleged onset date.

The lessons to be learned:

1. Sometimes, in cases involving mental impairment, you have to have a complete psychological exam done. Social Security often does not send claimants for the proper testing.

2. Be very, very careful about what you or anyone purporting to act on your behalf sends to Social Security. Things can come back to haunt you.

If you live in the Southeastern United States, are disabled and have a Social Security Disability or SSI claim for which you need legal representation, please contact us for a free consultation regarding your case. Social Security Disability cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.

Samuel H. Jefcoat
Attorney at Law, LLC

How to contact if you need representation in South Carolina

1501 Main Street
Post Office Box 397
Newberry, South Carolina 29108

Phone: 803-321-2321
Fax: 803-321-3991

Web: www.SamJefcoat.Com

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