For the vast majority of my Social Security Disability clients their claim for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and/or Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits is the best means they have available to return to financial stability. As you go through the process of obtaining that stability through Social Security, your hearing before the Administrative law Judge (ALJ) is the most important day in your case. Your hearing, usually a year after you first applied, is the first chance you and your witnesses (spouse, children, friends, minister) will have to sit face to face with and individual who has the power to decide if you are eligible for benefits or not. On such an important day why would you want the individual who is representing you to be a stranger
The process of beginning representation in my office begins with a meeting with a lawyer. Most of the time that lawyer is me, Brian Canupp. If not me you will meet with Tiffany Yahr. We will talk about what has happened for you to consider filing disability, where you have worked what our job duties were, what is happening with your health and what treatments you are receiving, and we’ll talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and what to do to make your case stronger.
During that meeting I decide if I want to represent you and you are able to decide if you like my approach and a comfortable with me being your lawyer. This allows for a personal relationship to develop and that meeting often establishes the framework for your entire case.
Once we are hired it is our goal to immediately obtain the documents on file with the Social Security Administration and to obtain medical records from each and every medical provider who has treated your physical or mental health. Your file needs to have every medical note regarding the health problems that prevent you from working. That has required us to get records from a back woods clinic near Sitka, Alaska, the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN, and local and regional hospitals throughout the nation.
In most cases, we develop your medical treatment history by making contact with the same doctors and providers that we have worked with for years. In the 10 years of practice my firm has developed a positive relationship with many medical providers around Kentucky. Those relationships, formed over years of working together allows for your case to be developed more efficiently and effectively. We work very hard to develop your medical history—the success of your disability case depends upon it!
While we are working on the old records we want to know about each and every trip you make for medical care. This back and forth keeps us in the loop of what is happening with your treatment and allows us to determine if we are in a position to advance your disability case by asking the ALJ to make an on the record decision.
Before every Social Security hearing I meet with you. During the pre-hearing meeting we will make sure we have all of your medical records submitted to Social Security, we will discuss what your medical providers suggest as a treatment plan, and the medical conditions that prevent you from working in your past jobs. During meeting we will talk about hearing procedure and what will be the theme of your case. This meeting allows for us to make sure we are singing off the “same sheet of music” regarding your disability benefits.
At your hearing there are two chairs side by side—one for you and one for your representative. On the day when your access to SSI or SSDI benefits is determined, it just makes sense that the lawyer sitting next to you is someone you have worked with to develop your case not someone you are meeting for the first time. Social Security benefits are too important to trust someone that you have never met.
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