Kevin J. Bambury and Christopher J. Grover, attorneys with Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC., were presenters at the 2017 Spring Conference of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives in Washington, D.C. Bambury and Grover, who handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims for clients in Western New York, spoke about guiding claimants through the application process and preparing them for an SSD hearing.
Since it is typically around two years from the initial application to when a client obtains a decision regarding benefits, it is critical, Bambury said, that representatives fully understand the laws regarding disability.
“It’s also critical attorneys define ‘total disability’ to their clients from the beginning of the claims process, and remind them of that definition until they are through the hearing stage,” he said.
Claimants representatives must also be knowledgeable regarding the medical evidence required to prove a client can no longer perform their former job, or in any other job that exists in the national economy.
“Obtaining SSD benefits is challenging,” Bambury said. “Currently, there’s a significant backlog of claims — approximately 1 million cases — so it is a long and arduous process getting to the hearing stage. Clients suffer from the physical and mental issues that are preventing them from working, and from the financial strain of not having an income.
“As a claimant’s attorney you are responsible for helping them through the experience as efficiently as possible, which requires attorneys to continually educate themselves about any changes that are taking place in this area of the law.”
More than 700 attorneys, judges and officials from the Social Security Administration attended the conference which included educational and lobbying components. Several NOSSCR members met with high level government officials regarding Social Security reform.