A Dirty Social Security Disability Secret

June 3, 2016

Insight from Tom Nash

Claimants in the Social Security Disability process have seen both themselves and their treating health professionals become overwhelmed with the paperwork sent by SSA. While pesky, our advice is to just tell the truth regarding the information requested on the “activities of daily living” (Function Report) and other forms. Please understand that unfortunately, although SSA will pester you with their deadline for submission, at best, it almost completely ignores information provided by claimants on the forms. At worst, SSA very commonly uses these forms for a fishing expedition to extract and distort alleged damaging admissions against the notion of qualifying for the benefit! That is, without questioning the claimant further, the system draws sweeping irrational inferences relative to the meaning of the statements given by the claimant. Unfortunately, and far too often, this is done by Administrative Law Judges who are trained and should know better.

The answer to this problem, again, is to tell the truth in those pesky forms. But when the claim is denied, as claims often are, have thorough hearing preparation in person with a local Chicago attorney. At NDL, we have 12 lawyers in the Chicago area, and this is what we do. (See our blog regarding the advantages of hiring a local Social Security Disability Lawyer).

One of the dirty little secrets about the SSA hearing disability adjudication process is that alleged “nationwide representation” law firms and non-attorney outfits are very good at marketing and bringing in clients. But once they reel a claimant in, they engage in a joint race to the bottom, in which they get what has become known as “coverage attorneys” for the hearing at the cheapest price. The notion of one attorney “covering” for another is not unusual in the practice of law given unusual and irregular instances of illness, funerals, scheduling conflicts or the like, and ordinarily is done for something such as a motion, deposition, or similar matter. But for the disability hearing? That’s your life and the whole enchilada! It’s not some passing incidental transaction in connection with the representation. It is hardly a time to hire a low-rent advocate, unavailable to meet in person before the hearing, unavailable to establish the proper attorney-client communication, and unavailable to prepare to defend the interests of the client.


To schedule a free consultation with a Nash Disability Law lawyer, please complete our simple online form, or better yet, call our office today: 800-332-NASH (6274).