The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representative Conference (NOSSCR) in San Francisco. During the conference, each presenter gave excellent advice how to be successful in Federal District Court. Below are the ten tips winning your Social Security Disability in Federal District Court.
- Develop a concept of the case at your earliest opportunity. Yet, every Judge is looking at a case from the first time applied for SSD benefits. The Judge wants to know why the claimant cannot work. When filling out Federal District Court forms be specific answering questions about daily activities. However, your answers should pertain to the theory of the case.
- Get all the medical and test records. It will make the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) job easier. If the case goes to Federal District Court, you want the medical records to specify your impairment.
- Submit a written brief to the Administrative Law Judge highlight the important evidence, clarify the issues, and present your theory of the case. You may win your SSD claim in front of the ALJ whether than going to Federal District Court.
- Deal with unfavorable facts early. If there are few medical treatment records due to the claimant not having medical insurance and unable go to the doctor? Make sure you inform the ALJ in the record. That way the Federal Judge does not have to guess you have no medical treatment records. The ALJ’s cannot say a claimant is not severely disabled due to the lack of medical treatment records.
- Get third-party testimony. Claimants can have friends, relatives, as a witness to attend the hearing. Or submit a letter describing the claimant’s disability impairments. Third party testimony is helpful in cases dealing with mental impairments or claimants pain level.
- Enter into a voluntary dismissal with government counsel for remand. If your case can benefit from remand then send a brief letter to the Office of General Counsel. Also, state why you think they should agree to a remand. (This advice was given at the NOSSCR, it is not clear how often it works)
- Know the law clerk and court. Try to find out as much information you can about the federal judge who assigned to your case in district court. If the same judge decided your Social Security Disability case before then you can give a detailed explanation of the consecutive evaluation in your brief.
- Write a detail comprehensive brief. Use plain language for the record define-terms. Even though the judges and law clerks can retrieve legal resources and medical dictionaries. It is helpful for you to define the medical term in a sentence.
- Creditability. Follow all the court rules and be honest. Do not overstate.
- File a reply brief. Several law clerks will read the reply briefs to find the real issues in a case. At the hearing you want to persuade the judge to decide in your favor; the reply brief gives you an opportunity to restate your position.
“The Practical Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits”
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