Christopher J. Grover, attorney at Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC., has been appointed chair of the Bar Association of Erie County’s (BAEC) Disability Committee for a second term. Grover has been working with Social Security and other disability cases since 2009. The BAEC’s Disability Committee was formed in 1985 to educate the legal community regarding people living with disabilities; to encourage attorneys to represent the disabled; to promote accessibility; and to monitor legislative and judicial trends.
“Disability can include anything from physical impairments resulting from an injury or illness, to mental health issues,” Grover said. “The committee meets monthly to discuss any changes in local, regional, and federal requirements regarding Social Security Disability cases and related issues in order to help local attorneys who represent individuals with disabilities.
“The Social Security Administration, for example, has new rules regarding submission of evidence and notification of missing evidence; and the SSA recently ruled that claimants and attorneys must submit all evidence pertaining to an individual’s disability hearing five days prior to the hearing.”
Currently, there is a backlog of more than 1 million SSD claims and getting through the system from the initial application through the hearing stage is a slow process which can take up to two years. Grover says this impacts clients significantly.
“We have clients who rely on friends and family, government assistance, or savings to live during this time. Some are lucky enough to be receiving some sort of medical retirement, or long term disability, but many have to look to cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid to survive,” he said.
Grover, who is a graduate from the University at Buffalo Law School, lives in Ken-Ton with his wife and their newborn son. He is originally from Elmira, NY, where he first developed an interest in the area of disability law by working with local nonprofit organizations there.