Social Security Disability Law Podcast

Social Security Disability Law Podcast

What does it take to win Social Security disability benefits? Join disability attorney Jonathan Ginsberg as he demystifies the disability approval process and offers proven tactics to help you win the benefits you deserve.

Episodes

December 3, 2023 24 mins

This is part one of a three part interview I conducted with attorney Bryan Konoski.  Bryan is a Social Security disability attorney whose practice focuses on Appeals Council and Federal District Court work.

The appellate work that Bryan does is very different than disability application and administrative law judge hearing work.  With very rare exception Bryan is not presenting new evidence of disability to a judge.  Inste...

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What type of conduct does Social Security consider to be fraudulent?  Are you committing fraud if you exaggerate your symptoms or if there is no MRI to document your back pain claim?

Or does SSA define fraud as conduct that goes far beyond overstating your symptoms? 

In my conversation with former SSA fraud examiner Greg Brinkley we try to draw a clear distinction between statements you might make in writing or v...

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How do Social Security claims examiners (adjudicators) analyze disability claims and what do they do on a day to day basis?

In this episode I speak to Greg Brinkley a former Social Security employee.  In his 27 year career with the agency, Greg served many roles, including that of a  claims specialist (adjudicator), technical expert, fraud examiner and team leader.

Because of his experience Greg was the perso...
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Social Security disability judges call on vocational witnesses to testify at the vast majority of disability hearings.  Although you have never met this witness, he/she plays an important role in your hearing.

Disability judges pose "hypothetical questions" to the vocational expert in your case and the answers to these questions will determine whether you win or lose.

My guest in this episode is vocation...

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After trying thousands of cases over the past thirty years, I have a fairly good idea what types of cases are likely to be approved.   There are certain fact patterns and claimant profiles that I know will resonate with Social Security judges.

I regularly speak with colleagues throughout the country to discuss their experiences.  These discussions help me educate myself and learn how to be a more effective advocate for my ...

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During the course of your Social Security disability case, SSA will send you dozens of forms.  These forms include documents with titles like "Function Report-Adult,"
"Disability Report -Adult," "Work History Report," "Activities of Daily Living Report," "Pain Questionnaire."

Most of these forms are accompanied by a page or two of instructions that tell you nothing abo...

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Social Security disability judges rely primarily on evidence to decide whether you qualify for disability benefits.  Within the last few years, SSA changed its procedure to remove "claimant credibility" as a factor that judges can use.

In other words, you may appear before a judge who finds you completely believable and honest, but you will still lose if the evidence in your case file does not clearly document a ...

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What can you do as an applicant for Social Security disability benefits to improve your chances at an approval?

This is the third an final installment of my conversation for former Social Security staff attorney Spencer Bishins.  Spencer recently released a book entitled Social Security Disability Revealed: Why It's So Hard to Access Benefits and What You can do About it. 

Spencer writes about a topic that h...

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What evidence to Social Security judges find most compelling and convincing?

In part two of my interview with former Social Security staff attorney Spencer Bishens, we talk about how a disability judge's background can influence how that judge evaluates a case.

Spencer Bishins is a former Social Security Administration staff attorney, serving as a decision writer and attorney advisor to several disability ju...

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Recently the Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country have run stories about the inefficiencies and long delays that are causing terrible suffering for Social Security disability applicants.

My guest on today's podcast argues that these long delays and poor service within Social Security are not accidental.   He contends that Congress, and by extension, the Social Security Administration makes t...

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January 11, 2023 28 mins

When you are approved for Social Security disability benefits, you also become eligible for Medicare.  But you don't get Medicare coverage right away - instead, you don't become eligible for Medicare until 24 months after you first become eligible for SSDI payments.

Why this delay?  I can find no good answer other than that the goverment wants to save money.

When you finally get notice that you are elig...

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Why do some Social Security disability claims get approved within two to three months, whereas others are denied twice before you end up a year and a half later in front of a Social Security judge?

More importantly, what can you do to improve your chances at an early approval?

In this episode, I talk to Nashville disability attorney Pete Harris.  Pete is a practicing Social Security disability lawyer but prior to ...

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How can you improve your chances at winning Social Security disability benefits if you are struggling with a mental health condition like severe depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, PTSD or other issue that prevents you from working?

In part 2 of my interview with Phoenix, Arizona attorney Jeffrey Herman, we dive deeper into questions about what evidence is the most compelling and how do address problems like self-medic...

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What are proven strategies you or a loved one can use to win a mental health disability claim?

This is part one of a two part episode in which I interview Scottsdale, Arizona attorney Jeffrey Herman about how he approaches the challenges of representing deserving claimants who are struggling with mental health issues.

In part one, Jeffrey and I go over the basics - what are the indicia of a winning mental health ...

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Earlier this year I published part one of my interview with Cameron Connah, a former staff attorney with Social Security responsible for drafting approvals and denials to be released by Social Security judges.

As a decision writer Cameron had the unique opportunity to listen to literally hundreds of hearing audio recordings and to interact with dozens of disability judges around the country.

Not surprisingly, Came...

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What should you expect from your lawyer during the long delays typical of most Social Security disability claims?

As you may know, Social Security moves at a snail's pace when deciding claims - it is not at all unusual for a case to take two years or longer from start to finish.

What is your lawyer doing during these long delays and how do you know that your lawyer is doing anything at all?

In this e...

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Would you be surprised to learn that the judge who hears your disability case is not the person who actually writes the approval or denial in your case?

In the strange universe that is Social Security disability, a "decision writer" working in a cubicle hundreds of miles from the judge and weeks after your actual hearing will sit down with the exhibit file, the audio recording of your hearing and your judge'...

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After waiting as long as two years or more for your hearing, you are finally scheduled to appear before a Social Security disability judge to present your case for disability benefits.  Your hearing will last around 45 minutes so every minute counts.

Should you assume that the judge has read through every page of your medical record?  Will the judge be asking you to recall the dates you underwent certain diagnostic te...

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The one constant in the Social Security disability program is delay.  You'll wait months for a decision after you apply, months for a decision on your appeal, and months for a hearing date.  After your hearing, you may wait weeks or months for a decision and if you win, you may wait months before you are paid. 

Nothing is more frustrating knowing that you have won and money is coming your way, but there seem to be no...

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The federal government administers two huge disability programs - one for workers who can longer reliably perform a full time job (Social Security disability), and the second a program that pays cash benefits to soldiers injured while serving in the armed forces.

You would think that the standards and procedures for obtaining disability benefits would be similar for these two programs...but you would be totally wrong.
...

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