It’s hard to win if you don’t show up to your Social Security Hearing

November 29, 2012

Well, it happened again last week – I could hear a judge lamenting the fact that a person who had a disability hearing scheduled did not show up.  From the sounds of it, the judge was ready to approve the case, but wanted to see the claimant in-person.  While this person’s case will probably not […]

Read the full article →

Why practice disability law?

October 12, 2012

For the past several years I have had the privilege to represent Michigan Social Security attorneys through my service as a council member to the Social Security Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Today is my last day as Treasurer of the section. Our section strives to improve the representation of disabled individuals […]

Read the full article →

What Will My Social Security Hearing Be Like?

June 20, 2012
Thumbnail image for What Will My Social Security Hearing Be Like?

I would like to spend a little bit of time answering some routine questions I get about ALJ hearings. Where will it be? You will need to look at your Notice of Hearing to determine where your hearing is.  The Notice of Hearing will give the time, date, and location of your hearing.  I was […]

Read the full article →

Wait Times for a Decision in Michigan Social Security Cases

March 11, 2012
Thumbnail image for Wait Times for a Decision in Michigan Social Security Cases

Here are the hearing times process numbers for a the offices where I have most of my hearings.  According to Social Security, these numbers represent the “average number of days until final disposition of the hearing request.”  You can check all of the hearing office processing times at the following link, by clicking here to access […]

Read the full article →

What about the Freedom of Information Act?

December 23, 2011
Thumbnail image for What about the Freedom of Information Act?

The Problem The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) has a new policy that prohibits releasing the name of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned to hear a case until the day of the hearing.  Attorneys for disabled individuals seem to be universally against this foolish policy. My Solution Use the Freedom of Information […]

Read the full article →

Open Government my SSA

December 19, 2011
Thumbnail image for Open Government my SSA

Have you even been punished for something you didn’t do?  Parents and teachers have been guilty of the punish-everybody-for-the-misdeeds-of-a-few since … well, forever.  Sometimes it works.  The undesired behavior is eliminated, and the authority figure can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.  Other times, the punishment is so ill-conceived that one Michigan […]

Read the full article →

Should I Apply for State Disability?

December 3, 2011
Thumbnail image for Should I Apply for State Disability?

If you live in Michigan and are applying for Social Security Disability or SSI, you should strongly consider applying for Michigan State Disability Assistance (“SDA”).  This is a state-run program that provides medical insurance and cash benefits if you are approved.  The main difference between the two programs is that to get approved for SDA, […]

Read the full article →

Wait Times for Social Security Disability and SSI appeals in Michigan

November 24, 2011
Thumbnail image for Wait Times for Social Security Disability and SSI appeals in Michigan

Wait times in Michigan are all over the map, according to a recent Social Security report accessed on November 24, 2011. Detroit: 293 days.  37th out of 161 offices. Flint: 304days.  44th out of 161 offices. Grand Rapids: 451 days.  160th out of 161 offices. Lansing: 292 days.  36th out of 161 offices. Livonia: 291 days.  34th out of 161 offices. […]

Read the full article →

(Non) Adversarial Social Security Disability Hearings

October 13, 2011
Thumbnail image for (Non) Adversarial Social Security Disability Hearings

I have already written (here and here) about Senator Coburn’s efforts to reduce the federal budget by weakening the very minimal safety net provided by Social Security disability and SSI benefits. In Michigan, after Social Security denies an application, many clients choose to appeal the denial to an impartial Administrative Law Judge.  After a year […]

Read the full article →

Senator Coburn’s Misguided Opinions on Social Security

October 10, 2011
Thumbnail image for Senator Coburn’s Misguided Opinions on Social Security

I just can’t get enough of Senator Coburn’s Back in Black publication. You know, the 600 page report that seeks to reduce wasteful government spending and get the federal budget under control.  Just to be clear, I do not dislike all of his ideas.  I am fully in favor of eliminating reconsideration nationwide.  Thankfully reconsideration […]

Read the full article →