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Demand for disability advocates

Demand for Advocates Reflected in SSA Stats!

When choosing a new business service you must consider if the industry is right for you.  Starting a small business or adding an additional service to an existing company is a serious long-term consideration.  You must contemplate the future growth potential of the chosen field.  Within the field of non-attorney disability advocacy, determining future growth can often be done by reviewing data within Social Security’s annual statistics.

When pondering demand, think cold hard stats!  SSA’s internal statistics show that one of the driving forces behind the rise of professional disability advocacy is Social Security’s modernization process.   This process has been occurring for the past fifteen years.  However, the recent arrival of the SSA online application process has escalated the modernization. 

As Social Security (SSA) adapts to computerized case processing, the application process becomes a little more deceptive to the masses.  While becoming easier for a client to interact with SSA, it’s actually harder for the client on his own to determine a clear strategy for a successful application.  If you don’t know what SSA is looking for, you can’t provide it.  If you can’t provide it, you lose the case.

While SSA’s modernizations drive demand for disability advocates in a general sense, the number of those receiving benefits over time is the actual stimulant.  The level of Social Security disability allowances is known as the allowance rate.  By looking at the allowance rate over time, it is clear from SSA’s historical data that it has become much harder to acquire disability benefits.  This is especially true in the last five years which correlates perfectly with SSA’s Disability Service Improvement Program (DSIP).

Social Security began its DSIP modernization in 2006.  In that year, approximately 1.2 million individuals applied for SSDI benefits.  Of that number, more than 51 percent received an allowance determination.   By 2013, the number of applicants was 2.6 million with an allowance rate of just 33 percent.  Result:  More than twice the number of applicants with a nearly 20% overall decline in allowances.  This dramatic downward trend in the allowance rate is the real source that fuels the need for disability advocates. 

In disability advocacy, as the percent of those winning allowances on their own declines, the need for advocate representation increases.  Today, client representation demands that you take a case on multiple appeal levels adding more complexity.  Our advocate training program provides you with detailed training on multiple adjudicative levels assuring the greatest possibility for success.  Learn more by visiting our informative Blogs:

Advocate Training
Advocate Software
Advocate Marketing

If you’d like to learn more about our unique business focused approach to advocate training, visit our website at www.ssahelp.com.  Contact us at 303-766-1111.

Determining Case Viability – Client Interview

Case viability is extremely important.  The higher the viability the greater your chance of winning the case.  Viability can and should be determined as early in a case as possible.  We suggest this evaluation begin during the initial client interview.

There are of course many ways to interview a Social Security disability applicant seeking representation.  We’ve identified several techniques that have proven to bring greater efficiency to the initial interview process.

Scenario:  Phone rings and client needs help with his Social Security disability claim.  Where do you begin?  We begin with a Lazar focus on the primary objective of the interview, to accept or reject the case.  This decision is based on the viability or win-ability of the case.

Clear Interview Objective

Years of case processing experience has taught us that by executing an interview with the clear objective to determine viability, leads to better case acceptance decisions.  Accepting weak cases is an important reason why some advocates fail.

Client’s Contact Data

Avoid the possible inconvenience of a client disconnect by extracting a client’s contact data early in the interview process.  Contact data includes name, address, phone, email, etc.

Client’s First Tier Data

First tier data would include a client’s date of birth, primary job title, citizenship status and possibly the client’s social security number.  Please do not be discouraged if the client refuses to give his SS number on the initial contact.  Simply move on to the next set of required data and return to this element later in the interview if required.

Identify Case Dis-qualifiers

A case dis qualifiers is any factor that can help you determine the viability of a case.  Viability is defined as the level of case winnable.  Anything that interferes with your ability to win is considered a case dis-qualifier.  Some of these factors are:

Client is currently on benefits?
Client is still working?
Client already has a representative?
Client was incarcerated when impairment occurred?
Client received his disability while committing a crime?
The primary impairment involves drugs & alcohol

These and several other dis-qualifiers will quickly enable you to accept or reject a case without wasting valuable time.  If you’re unaware of these dis-qualifiers, we cover a host of them in our advocate training program.  We have also built these case dis-qualifiers into our Olivia case management software.  When performing an interview, Olivia will automatically alert you when one or more of these disqualifying factors exist.

If you’d like to learn more about our unique business focused approach to advocate training, visit our website at www.ssahelp.com.  If you’d like to learn more about our exclusive Olivia Prime case processing software, visit us at www.oliviasoftware.com.