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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pitfalls In Disability Cases

I just read a blog article “Disability Lawyers and The Mistakes They Make”, posted on November 2, which enumerates the common habits and practices of lawyers and representatives, which often caused unfavorable effects on the outcome of disability cases they handle.

The article pointed out the mistakes often committed during the crucial period of preparation for the case, when usually a case is about to be heard by an administrative law judge.

Here are helpful hints for other claimants and lawyers:

  1. Missing documents
According to the article, some lawyers and representatives often submit incomplete disability forms and missing documents in application papers.

  1. Untimely filing of appeals
Missing the deadline for the filing of an appeal may result in a new disability application and the claimant will have to start with the procedures all over again.

  1. Failure to read a claimant’s disability file
Last-minute reading of the disability file is an indication of shoddy preparation on the part of a lawyer or a claims representative.

  1. Failure to obtain RFC form from attending physician
RFC, or residual functional capacity, is a form accomplished by the claimant’s doctor, which is often used as basis for the disability approval during a hearing. If an RFC is not completed or missing, a disability claim has less chances of succeeding.

In short, both claimants and lawyers should avoid these mistakes. For a disability case that takes one to two years to be heard, you surely do not want poor preparations to spoil all your time and effort and your chances of winning lay to waste.