Issues Facing Social Security Disability Practitioners

Reading Robert Donati’s article on LinkedIn and the related comments about the significantly reduced rates of successful outcomes for Social Security Disability (SSD) cases reminded me of an idea I shared some months ago with a client: some firms do little, to no, pre-screening. In my management consulting for law firms, I have experience with a wide range of firms that handle SSD cases. One of the things I learned is that some firms take all cases that come in without any judgment about their true merit. Smaller firms sometimes don’t have someone on staff that has the ability to make that decision and some larger firms don’t want to bother as it slows down their volume intake system. For some years now, larger firms hire an outside company to make these decisions, handle the intake process, and close the claimants on their behalf. Part of the reason for the low success rate of SSD cases could be partially due to the fact that a number of firms are loading cases into the system with little or no chance of being approved, thereby clogging up the system.

The current 50% success rate goes back to my original idea formed when I was actively managing a law firm, that a law firm needs 3 legs to stand on, normally SSD, LTD, PI, WC, and VA or some combination thereof. These are a good combination because they all depend on medical records to prove a case and the expertise to review and understand medical records.

Another issue facing social security disability practitioners is collecting long overdue payments from the Social Security Administration. Beyond the normal practice of calling the SSA offices in charge of payments, these are some of the other avenues I suggest: Senators and Congressmen both Federal and State, and Local TV Stations (How can an attorney continue helping the disabled if they are not getting paid for their services), Local Newspapers (same angle as for TV stations), Senate and House Committee members who oversee the SSA and or related Federal organizations, and Social Media post calling out the SSA for not paying their obligations in a timely manner and for just not responding.