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30May

Why Your Social Security Disability Brief is So Important!


Why Your Social Security Disability Brief is So Important!

Preparing for your client’s Social Security Disability Appeal hearing can be done a couple of different ways. 

  1. You can meet them day-of, go over the basic fact pattern of their case, and present your clients’ case to the judge.  (tell me this doesn’t happen…)
  2. You can prepare adequate time to develop a great brief, which the judge may or may not review, but likely will & if you write it yourself, you certainly will!  Then you meet with your client, give them the lay of the land for their hearing, and proceed with confidence in their claim and your strategy.
  3. You can have a team member or other legal support service prepare your brief.  Again you review it, meet with your client, share with them what to expect, then go hit a home run for them

Well, this is only three ways.  Obviously, there are many, many, other ways the approach to a hearing and an actual hearing will play out.  In almost every situation, the one thing that is consistent seems to be the brief.  So, how can we improve brief preparation and writing – to the betterment of the clients’ outcome, and the business case of representing a client all the way to their hearing?

Assume the ALJ Will Review the Disability Brief

It’s probably a pipe-dream to assume that every ALJ reviews every brief.  Even if they do, how deep do they go, each time?  Is it a cursory review, or an in-depth dive?  Still, the best bet is to assume the ALJ is/has/will review your brief prior to the appeal hearing.  And this is good!  Why?

Your brief will give the ALJ a roadmap of the facts of the case.  Moreover, your well-structured brief will present your theory of the clients’ case, the residual capacity of the client, any objective medical testing, medical source statements, and generally the relevant information the SSA has mistaken, overlooked, or simply never known about, to date.

Be Ready to Defend the Arguments in the Disability Brief

You are tipping your hat to the ALJ about your arguments, but honestly, your evidence may contain hundreds of pages of medical records, and other critical documents.  Help them help you and your client by leading them to the important points.  If you’re lucky, the ALJ will have reviewed your brief, and may have questions regarding your legal arguments contained within it. 

Make the Hearing Process Easier for Everyone!

In all likelihood, your well-prepared brief will be seen as a helpful document by the ALJ.  Social Security Appeals is a bulk industry.  You know the intimate facts of your clients’ cases better than a judge is likely to be able to ascertain in a short period of time.  And while it may not be necessary for the ALJ to have the same level of knowledge of your client’s story, they would love the executive summary.

Your brief will make the ALJ’s job easier.  And if drafted well, and supported by a strong claimant’s case, will demonstrate the claimant meets the strict requirements of the program they’ve already applied for and been denied.

Does the Idea of Producing a Stellar Disability Brief Give You Anxiety?

We know you can write a wonderful brief!  It should be assumed, that given adequate time and resources, your disability briefs would knock the socks off any ALJ.  But do you have the time?   How much time would you need to write 20 briefs a week?  40?  5?  As your disability advocacy practice grows, you will find brief writing to be a challenge.  This challenge is where Cornerstone Advocate Solutions lives.  We do case-file reviews and draft briefs for disability advocates and law firms.  Why?  Because a well-drafted brief helps all parties! 

We will help you draft your disability appeal briefs too.  Contact Us Today!

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