Morgan & Weisbrod recently handled a case where the client had already been to two hearings with different judges. She had also been represented by another law firm at both previous hearings. Interestingly, both of the previous judges agreed she had very significant impairments that greatly limited her ability to stand and walk. She was also nearing retirement age which usually strengthens disability claims.
So why did she have such trouble winning her claim?
When this client completed SSA forms describing her past work, she would describe it as Title Clerk. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Title Clerks deal with real property transactions and are seated the vast majority of the day. But in reality, this disabled worker was actually a “License Clerk”. License Clerks have to stand for a significant portion of the day and also carry stacks of automobile license plates. A box of license plates easily weighs 20 or more pounds.
It all comes down to listening.
Before a hearing, Morgan & Weisbrod clients have the opportunity to discuss his or her case with the attorney on a one-to-one basis (preferably face-to-face). That is not true at a lot of other Social Security representatives’ offices (lawyers or non-attorney representatives). Taking the time to meet one-to-one with clients helps the attorney focus on the client’s case and most importantly, actually listen to what the client is saying. By actually listening to the client, the attorney realized she had been describing her past work to the SSA incorrectly. Making sure the judge understood what this client really did in her past work was the difference between winning and losing her case. Choose a representative, like the Board Certified attorneys at Morgan & Weisbrod, that is experienced in listening and understanding the important details of your disability, don’t just rely on a quick meeting in the waiting room a few minutes before you go into see the Judge.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.