What to Do and How to Do It
Detailed guidance is important when navigating the hidden rules, obscure interpretations, and frequent delays common to Social Security disability cases.
Turn to Tom Bush’s Social Security Disability Practice when challenges or questions arise. This masterwork covers the waterfront of social security disability practice:
- Selecting good cases. Sections 160-62
- Determining the basis for denial, and common erroneous reasons for denial. Sections 173, 207
- Comparison of Social Security disability and SSI. Section 135
- Obtaining and dealing with medical and vocational opinion evidence. Section 220
- Impairment-specific RFC questionnaires. Section 230
- Issues commonly arising in hearings. Section 287
- Preparing claimants and witnesses to testify, including questionnaires and letters. Section 290
- Specific and detailed hearing questions for claimants, witnesses, and experts. Chapter 3
- Proving inability to do unskilled sedentary work, including cross-examination questions. Section 346.6
- Using the Medical-Vocational Guidelines as framework for decision-making, with charts, questions for the vocational expert, and court decisions. Section 348
- Res judicata and reopening applications. Section 370
- Index of key rulings. Appendix 1
- Calculating back benefits, with worksheet. Section 430
- Payment issues and solutions, with directory of contact information. Section 440
- Developing a legal theory for appeal, with checklist and sample briefs. Chapter 5
- Attorney fee issues and solutions. Chapter 7
- And much, much more.
Considered by many to be the most practical work in the field, Social Security Disability Practice is chock-full of practice-proven forms.
Developed by author Tom Bush for his own office, these forms will save you hours and improve your advocacy. Just a few of the tips found in the helpful charts, appendices and forms include:
- Use “Maximum RFC Permitted for Disability Finding” to quickly determine what exertional limitations a claimant must have in order to win a disability case. Section 121.1
- “Social Security Disability and SSI Compared” summarizes differences between the two programs. Section 135
- “Physical Limitations and Their Effects on Ranges of Work” will help you understand specific medical restrictions. Section 271.1
- Author Tom Bush keeps a copy of “Different Standards of Transferability for Different Ages” in his briefcase for questioning vocational experts at hearings. Section 349.6
- Begin your research on disability issues with “Guide to Important Social Security Rulings and Acquiescence Rulings.” Appendix 1
- Prepare for cross-examination with “Medical Expert Handbook,” “Vocational Expert Self-study Guide” and “Vocational Expert Handbook” excerpts from manuals given by SSA to medical and vocational experts. Appendices 4, 7, and 8
- Vocational experts frequently testify with questionable validity that they know from “experience” of unlisted jobs that qualify as Unskilled Sedentary Occupations. Use this Dictionary of Occupation Titles list together with Tom Bush’s recommended cross-examination questions to shoot them down. Appendix 5
- “The Advocates’ Conflicting Obligations Vis-a-vis Adverse Medical Evidence in Social Security Proceedings” tackles the ethical issue that haunts all practitioners—must you submit an adverse medical report? Appendix 9
- “Sources of Information” provides summaries, critiques, and ordering information for dozens of other helpful resources. Appendix 2
- The telephone intake form helps screen out frivolous cases, and the claimant questionnaire, while lengthy, is a real attorney timesaver. Accompanying client letters and memos reduce the number of common client questions you have to answer. Sections 164-67, 181
- Overcome low back pain denials with maximum detail and explanations from the treating physician using the “Lumbar Spine RFC Questionnaire.” Section 231.2
- “Activities Questionnaire,” sent a few days before the hearing, can help claimants think about how their impairments have changed their lives. Section 291
- With these model questions, show that the vocational expert’s testimony about the number of unskilled sedentary jobs within the claimant’s RFC is hogwash. Section 348.8
- Detailed hearing questions for the claimant on work experience, medical history and treatment, physical and mental symptoms, RFC, and daily activities. Sections 312-19
Minimize the frustrations in dealing with the SSA, the author, a veteran disability representative, clarifies issues such as: developing the theory of the case, establishing and proving pain, dealing with vocational and medical experts and using the fee agreement process. Useful forms, questionnaires, and checklists help you streamline cases. The two volume book now includes access to more than 120 digital forms and the full text of the book via an emailed zip file.
REVISION 27 HIGHLIGHTS
Now in its 27th revision, Social Security Disability Practice is still considered by many Social Security disability practitioners the best and most practical work available for start-to-finish guidance for Social Security disability cases.
Author Tom E. Bush has updated the title throughout and has made substantial changes to the following sections:
Chapter 1 Initial Client Contact
- §120 Medical-Vocational Guidelines.
- §130 Social Security Disability And SSI: Nondisability Requirements And Other Differences.
- 178.2 SSA Forms
- §178.3 Attorney Fees Contract
- §178.8 SSA’s Tips and Best Practices for Appointed Representatives April 2022
- §180 After Initial Interview—Hearing Stage
- New Form: §176.11.4: Statement of Funds You Received (SSA-2855)
Chapter 2 Prehearing Procedure
- New Form: §239.4.1 Form: Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue Medical Opinion.
- §231 Musculoskeletal System, Listings §§1.15-1.23
- §231.1 Form: Lumbar & Cervical Spine Medical Opinion
- §279 SSA’s November 2020 Best Practices For Claimants’ Representatives
- §285 Submit All Additional Evidence At Least Five Business Days Before the Hearing
Chapter 3 The Hearing
- §304.2 Video Hearings
- §344 Improper VE Testimony
Chapter 4: Following a Favorable Decision
- §486 Is There Medical Improvement?
Chapter 5 Appeals Council
- §501 The Final Step of Administrative Review
- §527.4 Sample Brief: Missing Work.
CHAPTER 6: FEDERAL COURT REVIEW
- §601 Is There a Final Decision of the Commissioner?
- §610 Initiating The Civil Action: Procedure
- §614 Service
- §622 The Action is Presented for Decision by the Parties’ Briefs
- §623 Time Limits for Briefing
PRAISE FOR MR. BUSH’S BOOK
“If you can only afford one Social Security guide, this is the one to get.”
– Severe Book Review
“It contains everything one needs to learn ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ in Social Security law. Both novices and experienced professionals will benefit from this book.”
– The Rehabilitation Professional Review
“This book is an excellent practice guide, providing the kind of information experienced Social Security advocates rely on to make their practices more efficient and effective.”
– The Vermont Bar Review