Top 10 Guidelines for Paralegals Working in Social Security Disability Law
10 July 2011
|Top 10 Guidelines for Paralegals Working in Social Security Disability Law
by Sami K. Hartsfield, ACPGenerously reprinted with permission by the Institute for Paralegal Education (IPE). This article came from the IPE monthly newsletter and you can subscribe by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Social Security disability law is a particularly exciting area for paralegals to work in because it’s one of the very few areas where paralegals can actually represent the client in a hearing. Because the disability hearings are administrative in nature, and held before an Administrative Law Judge, paralegals may attend and act as the claimant’s representative during a hearing. Keep in mind, however, that the federal government can and will make the awarding of disability benefits a hard-earned task, especially given the current economic climate. Through preparation and skill sharpening, paralegals may successfully win disability benefits for clients who are truly disabled, a prospect that is incredibly fulfilling – both professionally and personally. Following are my top ten tips for paralegals wishing to assist those workers who have, unfortunately, become disabled due to injury or illness:
|Please see the “Quick Tips” article in this series.|
|Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP, is an insurance defense paralegal and freelance writer in Houston, Texas. She conducts medical, legal and factual research, investigations, and client interviews. Ms. Hartsfield prepares all manner of legal documents, including pleadings, witness lists and exhibits, trial notebooks, demand and settlement documents, and deposition schedules and summaries. She also coordinates and manages document production, locates and interviews witnesses and experts, and organizes pleading and trial exhibits. Ms. Hartsfield assists lawyers at trial, gathers and reviews medical records, and maintains general client contact. She recently worked as a Webmaster for a personal injury law firm in the Houston area, and started their social media marketing efforts. Ms. Hartsfield earned her AAS degree from the Center for Advanced Legal Studies and will graduate with a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Houston Downtown later this year. She is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants, the American Association of Notaries, and the Electric Data Extraction Network.
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