We just returned from the semi-annual NOSSCR meeting, the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives. I used to be awed at these meeting by how much people knew. Now I am more likely to be amazed by how much they do! People not only attend staggering amounts of hearings, they find time to talk to doctors and speak and write and...and...and.
When we came home I reviewed my notes and discussed with my partner what we heard. We realized we do as much as any firm. So far this year we have given at least a dozen lectures and, most importantly, won almost 250 Social Security Disability claims, the core of our practice. We win over 90% of the claims we handle and about half of those are won on the initial application, getting much needed funds to the clients up to a year sooner than if they have to wait for a hearing. We must be doing something right!
However Social Security is changing its claim process and as a result, we have to change ours. We will be implementing a scanning procedure so that everything that comes into the office can be accessed from our computers. No more running to find a file, saving us time and make it easier to answer your questions.
Social Security is removing an appeal step, which means more cases may wind up in Federal Court. To avoid that, we want to win even more cases at the initial application level. To do that we have to increase and improve our medical development, the core of any winning claim. We have made changes to the staff and to their workload to insure that takes place.
We prepare our cases far differently today than we did five years ago and I'm sure five years from now we will be saying the same thing. As someone a lot smarter than me once said "the only thing constant is change."