Not all advice is good, and some is even potentially harmful
I hate to be negative about anyone, but one thing that really bothers me is patently bad information. Here's an excerpt of an article whose author (I won't list his name or provide a link to his site because that simply promotes this drivel) should be caned and flogged:
"Instead of having an attorney represent you, bring other qualified individuals to speak on your behalf. This can include your doctor, social worker, and family members. Your family members know the most about your disability."
Oh really? And I suppose family members know what the listing book is, what an RFC is, what the grid entails, what a closed period is, what sga is, and how to evaluate medical evidence in the context of disability adjudication?
When I first read this BS, it was on a syndicated article and I assumed this was just some wayward fool with some myopic misconceptions about how the disability process works. Then, later, I discovered that he has a website with ads plastered all over it. That's when I got irritated.
This person obviously has no clue how the Social Security Disability system works, despite the fact that he has created an entire website devoted to social security and Social Security Disability issues (let me say again: ad revenue--it brings all kinds of creatures out of the woodwork). Most likely, he has done what a dozen other scam artists have done. He's gone to other websites (such as nosscr and my own site) and has gleaned as much information as he can cram into his head in one sitting and has then regurgitated it out onto webpages. Now, sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't. In this case, it obviously hasn't because this inept creature hasn't a clue.
Saying that you should take a pass on representation and, instead, bring a doctor (good luck trying), family member, or social worker to your hearing is, literally, one of the dumbest "pieces of advice" I've ever read and is pretty much on the same level as stating you should bring a plumber with you to traffic court.
However, for anyone who would choose to believe such advice, here's some more advice that's equally useful:
1. Be late to your hearing.
2. Bring and use a cane even if your impairment does not involve reduced mobility.
3. Eat mexican food before your hearing and endeavor to be flatulent while the administrative law judge is speaking.
These handy tips will be invaluable to the presentation of your case...just as invaluable as bringing a doctor, social worker, or family member to represent you versus a lawyer who has experience with disability claims.
Once again, be wary of what you read.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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