Today, even compared to ten years ago, useful resources for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI attorney are everywhere. The cost can range from nothing for readily available materials on the internet to hundreds of dollars for multi-volume treatises. Apart from traditional resource material (paper or electronic), an attorney now also has more wide ranging opportunities to connect to other attorneys and professionals practicing disability law or an allied profession. None of the resources mentioned below are meant as an advertisement or endorsement, but are exemplary, with the realization that many more probably exist that are equally good.
I always recommend one book to those that are going to represent disability claimant. The book is Social Security Laws published by West Group and is a compilation of selected statutes and regulations. Although almost all of the material can be found on the internet in some form or fashion, this relatively inexpensive book has most of the statutes and regulations in one place that an attorney is going to need to handle 80% of his or her cases. It is easy to take to hearings and can be marked up, tabbed, highlighted, etc. making it very user friendly. I once had an ALJ remark to me that he breathes a little easier when the attorney walks in with the Social Security Laws.
A rudimentary understanding of medicine is necessary for a disability attorney. More and more this information can be cheaply found online, but there still is a place in the paper library for medical treatises. Some examples are The Merck Manual, Stedman’s, Tabor’s, Attorney’s Dictionary of Medicine, or Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Also, a medical Abbreviations book is always handy. Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) – American Psychiatric Association.
As a social security attorney’s volume grows, serious consideration should be given to a multi-volume treatise. These treatises (and their yearly supplements) can be pricey, but they usually cover everything and anything involved in a social security disability practice.
Thought can be given to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, but, in all honesty, this is something that the electronic based systems have surpassed in ease of use. There is also The Revised Handbook for Analyzing Jobs from the Department of Labor, Standard Occupational Classification Manual, The Transitional Classification of Jobs, and Occupational Employment Quarterly II.
As with everything in life, technology has changed the way attorneys practice Social Security Disability law. In fact, most files are now fully electronic and can be accessed on ERE along with the representative report. In my belief, technology has lowered the cost of valuable information and streamlines representation.
Vocational information is an area where technological resources are abundant. There are computer programs such as OccuBrowse, OASYS, Westlaw’s Social Security CD Library, Job Browser Pro.
For more information on applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), click here.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, and northern Georgia.