Social Security Disability Practice
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Now in its 25th revision, Social Security Disability Practice is still considered by many Social Security disability practitioners the best and most practical work available for start-to-finish guidance for Social Security disability cases.
Author Tom Bush has updated the title throughout and has made substantial changes to the following sections:
Chapter 1 Initial Client Contact
- §114 Step 2: The Severity Step. Updated guidance on determining if a claimant’s medically determinable impairment is “severe.”
- §122 Age. Expanded explanation on how SSA decides which age category to use in a borderline age situation.
- §177.9 Form: Memorandum and Worksheet: Your Capacity for Working. Handout to help clients understand how SSA evaluates their capacity for working.
Chapter 2 Prehearing Procedure
- §211.2 VA Disability Rating Decisions and Rating Exam Reports. SSA has changed how it treats VA disability rating decisions.
- §220 Obtaining and Dealing with Opinion Evidence. Significant changes by SSA.
- §220.2 Medical Opinions – Claims Filed on or after March 27, 2017. New definition of medical opinion.
- §221 Obtaining Medical Opinions. Includes discussion of implications of new Rules of Conduct effective August 1, 2018. You may have to report to SSA your involvement in obtaining a medical opinion!
- §222 Prior Administrative Medical Findings – State Agency Doctor Opinions. Guidance on dealing with SSA’s new approach for dealing with medical opinions for claims filed on or after March 17, 2017, which are only now arriving at the hearing level.
- §285 Submit All Additional Evidence At Least Five Business Days Before the Hearing. Practice-oriented guidance on submitting evidence.
Chapter 3 The Hearing
- §300.1 Chart: Administrative Law Judge Approvals 2010 to 2017. A new graph showing the declining rate of ALJs finding claimants disabled.
- §330 The Government’s Medical Expert. Updated guidance on handling the testimony of medical experts at client hearings.
- §340 The Government’s Vocational Expert. Guidance on dealing with testimony of vocational experts.
Chapter 5 Appeals Council
- §501.1 Chart: Appeals Council Remand Rate 2010 to 2017: New graph shows declining remand rate.
- §510 Requesting Review by the Appeals Council. Detailed guidance on requesting review of decisions by the Appeals Council. Review can now be requested online.
- §523 to §524 Standards for Appeals Council Review. Detailed guidance on the grounds for review by the Appeals Council, including a discussion of dealing with limitations on the use of new evidence in your client’s appeal.
Chapter 7: Attorney’s Fees
- §700 Approval of Attorney Fees in Disability Cases. A valuable overview of the four attorney fee approval processes – two administrative systems: the fee agreement process and the fee petition process; and two federal court fee approval systems: 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) for a fee out of your client’s back benefits and the Equal Access to Justice Act.
- §705 Exceptions to the Fee Agreement Process. SSA has simplified its list of exceptions to the fee agreement process.
- §709 Law Firms, Paralegals and Multiple Representatives. Multiple representatives must all sign the same fee agreement, whether they are members of the same firm or not. If a co-representative waives a fee, SSA no longer imposes fee reduction on the remaining representatives.
- Appendix 8. Vocational Expert Handbook. New.
- Appendix 9. Medical Expert Handbook. New.
With this new edition, Tom Bush’s Social Security Disability Practice will continue to help you obtain persuasive medical source statements, guide your claimants to provide effective hearing testimony, make your office more efficient, and answer the questions arising in your daily work.
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Table of Contents
Initial Client Contact
Following a Favorable Decision
Federal Court Review