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.


May 28, 2021 31 min

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 opening his practice...

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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-medication with...

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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 case, what evidence ...

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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, Cameron has some very de...

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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 episode I talk to Oklahoma based...

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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's notes to ac...

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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 tests?  Do you ne...

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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 rules abou...

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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.

In this episode...

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What are the trends that we are seeing in the Social Security disability world and what can you expect in 2020 and beyond.

If you have an active application for benefits, or if  you have already been approved but are concerned about a possible "continuing disability review" you need to educate yourself about the big picture as seen by a Social Security disability lawyer who interacts with SSA on a daily basis.

A quick warning...

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Even though Social Security disability hearings are considered "informal" you will no doubt be stressed when you appear before the administrative law judge.  Judges are very busy - often understaffed and under pressure to close cases quickly.

Experienced lawyers know that thorough and complete case preparation will make your judge's life easier and therefore make the entire process go smoothly.

In this episode, I speak wi...

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I get a lot of questions about Social Security disability hearings.  Disability hearings are unlike other court proceedings you may be familiar with because there is no attorney on the other side representing the Social Security Administration and the judge in your case serves as both a finder of fact, and SSA's representative. 

Another bizarre element of SSD hearings involves the presence of a professional witness - someone yo...

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If you are 50 years old or older you have an advantage when applying for Social Security disability.  In the last episode of this podcast I talked about the grid rules - a shortcut to winning for those over age 50.  But not everyone fits into a grid rule, so what can you do?

In this episode of the podcast I reveal other proven strategies for winning disability benefits if you are age 50 or older but do not fit into a grid rule.  Per...

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Did you know that Social Security has a built in bias in favor of disability claimants over the age of 50?  In addition to claiming disability based on SSA's listings, or presenting evidence of diminished capacity for work, the grid rules allow many claimants over 50 to win disability benefits even if they still have the ability to work full time.

Social Security recognizes that entry level jobs for workers over 50 are difficult...

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What makes your Social Security disability claim stand out from the 20 or 30 other cases that your judge hears during the week your hearing is scheduled.  Every other person your judge hears from that week, that month and that year sincerely believes that he or she is disabled and deserving of disability benefits.

Statistically, Social Security judges approve around 45% of cases they hear, which means that they turn down 55% (more t...

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Back pain is perhaps the most common ailment for adults in the United States, so it is no surprise that Social Security disability judges see more back pain claims than any other medical complaint.

Because back pain cases are so common, yours must stand out if you hope to win.  In this podcast episode I discuss what I consider to be the five elements of a winning back pain case based on over twenty-five years of representing deservi...

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What type of evidence does a Social Security disability judge need to approve your claim?

Social Security defines disability in terms of how your medical problems impact your capacity for work.  But your judge won't approve your claim unless your file contains compelling evidence supporting your claim.

In this episode, I discuss the strongest evidence you can have in a disability claim.  I also explain what you can do if the "...

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What are the common mistakes that you need to avoid when filing your Social Security disability claim and appealing a denial.  What do you need to watch out for at your disability hearing?

In this episode, I interview Chicago Social Security disability lawyer Jonathan Pearson.  Jonathan lives and works in Chicago, where he represents disability claimants in Chicago, Evanston, Lake Forest, Orland Park, Schaumburg, and Downers Grove. ...

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What happens if you lose at your hearing, file an appeal to the Appeals Council and lose there as well?  Do you have any remaining options?

My guest today is Karl Osterhout, a lawyer based in Pittsburgh who has built a substantial national practice representing claimants before the Appeals Council and in Federal Court.  As we will discover, federal court judges are looking for significant errors of law or analysis by the trial judge...

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What happens if you lose at your hearing?  What are your options?

Social Security disability law says that if you lose you can either start over with a new application, or you can appeal the hearing judge's denial by filing Form HA-520.  How do you know which way to proceed?

My guest today is Karl Osterhout, a lawyer based in Pittsburgh who has built a substantial national practice representing claimants before the Appeals Counci...

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