September 24, 2014

Sample On-the-Record Argument Available for Your Review

The first few weeks of 2009 have been extremely busy for me.  I have been appearing at 5 or more hearings just about every week this year.  I am trying to manage my caseload by submitting on-the-record requests in as many cases as I can.

My on-the-record request also serve as a pre-hearing brief for case that is on my calendar.  However, if I can convince the judge to approve my case without requiring me to drive or take the train downtown, my client can avoid the stress of appearing at a hearing and I can save myself several hours of time.

Recently I was schedule to try a case involving a 63 year old woman with documented back issues, diabetes and a neuromuscular disease similar to multiple sclerosis.  She was already receiving early retirement benefits, so the only issue was whether she was entitled to past due benefits from age 59, when she stopped working through age 62, when she began receiving early retirement benefits.

In my view this was a fairly clear cut case and there were several arguments to support our claim.  I set out my arguments in an on-the-record decision and emailed it to the judge, who I knew to be a fair and reasonable person.   A few days after I submitted my request I received an email back advising me that the judge was prepared to grant this claim.

The judge agreed to let me appear telephonically so on the morning of the hearing, the hearing assistant called me and we recorded a 5 minute hearing in which the judge announced his favorable bench decision.   Since I was at home that morning, I “appeared” by telephone while I was sitting in a comfortable chair in my t-shirt and gym shorts.

I redacted the personal information from the case, and published my on-the-record request on one of my Georgia Social Security disability web sites.   Click the link to read my argument.

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Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 23 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.

Comments

  1. Glad to see more regular posts.Thank you mr ginsberg.

  2. how come most disability lawyers never contact their clients until one hour before Hearing?It whould seem reasonable to prepare your clients a lot sooner…

  3. On April 15, 2009 I was notified by the ODAR that I have a hearing date on June 10, 2009. On April 16, 2009 the next day ODAR call me and Stated that I do not have to go to my hearing because the ALJ have made a decision in my favorable. The next day i call the ODAR to find out the status of my claim and they stated it is up for review. I need to what is going on, i do not want miss my hearing date it been over 30 months. Please let me know WHO, WHAT, HOW to solve this problems. Please Response SOON, Before my hearing Date JUNE 10, 2009.

  4. i received a letter from social security hearing and review and it was a request to my attorney to submit the rest of my medical onto the CD and submit it for a possible OTR, or if unable to do a OTR fully favorable set the hearing date, and it noted in would be to my advantage to submit the rest of my evidence. what exactly does that mean???

  5. I hope you post this,I know Mr G..monitors this site..first the poor folks looking for a lawyer to help them..beware! your lawyer have to find time to talk to you..your Hearing is everthing!your Lawyer will dump you when you lose..make sure you document everything with your Dr..complain about your pain level with your Dr..your Lawyer plays a small part of your Hearing..his cross of the VE or ME don’t mean much. you have to have a well prepared Lawyer who knows the Judge!I lost my case because my Lawyer is a everything man with no time for his clients..so. question your lawyer everyday if you had to..and don’t be afraid to fire him! don’t skrew up as I have…

  6. The Disabled & Senior Community is concerned about their well-being in respect to the matter of NO-COST-OF-LIVING-INCREASES for 2010 to 2012. As you are aware of, many are on SSI, SSDI, and Regular Social Security with no other source of income coming in. For quite a percentage, those with Medicare, will find that their checks will even decrease due to Medicare Part B & D going up in rates. Unfortunately, even the basics of human survival will increase during those years, such as rent, gas & electric, food, gas for those who can still drive, etc. Their 20% of Medicare expenses will also increase as medical cost rises. Some even have Service Animals who assist them and are also part of the expenses for their medical and care.

    Right now as it certainly appears, many will become homeless during these three years. Many are much to fragile to take on a move to a cheaper place (there is no such thing anymore) and too poor to qualify for any other apartment.

    Where do they go from here. There is no doubt to them all, that they will be homeless. How do you stop this unfair and unjust treatment of the Disabled, Senior, and Poor Community.

  7. I have been receiving disability for three months now and just received a letter with an appointment and all i have to bring is my financial statements? Should I be concerned why wouldn’t they ask for any of my medical records? I am so worked up over this.

  8. Barbara, generally, when Social Security asks for financial records, they are conducting an income and resource review for SSI. Often, when people apply for disability, SSA opens both an SSI and an SSDI case. If you are approved, your SSDI payment will usually be more than the SSI payment. However, there is a 5 month waiting period in an SSDI case and you may be eligible for SSI during that 5 months. Once SSDI kicks in, SSI goes away because SSDI will offset SSI dollar for dollar. What may be happening here is that SSI is conducting its full income and resource evaluation just prior to the start of your SSDI payments. I know this is confusing – but if my assumptions are correct, you may not have anything to worry about. If you had a lawyer assist you with your case, you may want to ask the lawyer; otherwise, ask the SSA rep when you go to your meeting.

  9. brian mckeehan says:

    We are trying to decide whether to appeal my denial for a reconderation of the ALJ decision. We learned that our attorney filed no briefs. We want to make an informed decision on whether to re-file or appeal to district court of appeals.

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