Thursday, April 27, 2017

#SteveBannon defined by a picture because he cares nothing for the law

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Social Security Disability: what happens when either a SSI or SSDI claim wasn't filed, and there's still time before the hearing?

Sometimes claimants have not filed both SSI and SSDI claims. This can be significant if the date last insured is before the date of disability. For example, let's say a SSDI claim is pending, but the date last insured is December 31, 2007. However, claimant doesn't have evidence proving disability before 2015, and there's no SSI claim pending. This means claimant would be out of luck if no SSI claim were pending. BUT, if claimant files a SSI claim before the hearing--even if it is on the eve of hearing--the SSI claim will be be "pending," and it can be considered at that point. This can make all the difference in the world between winning and losing certainly in this limited hypothetical and in other situations. 

For more information on Social Security Disability, visit the Social Security Disability claims website operated by the Social Security Administration. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lawyers shouldn't push people away #lawyermarketing #pencilsketch

Lawyers need to put themselves out there and meet other people. Most referral sources come from relationships. People have to know you to learn to respect you. That's how your name gets out, and then, if you do a good job, your name gets out there in a positive way.. So don't push people away.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Ham Handed" #sketchbook


#PoeticJustice for exterminating innocent animals

This guy broke down today, and I saw him while I waited in traffic. He's in the animal extermination business. Serves him right.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"The Hag Cries Alone" #micropoetry

No one is there
because she is a loner.
So she cries alone
but it isn't because she's
ugly on the outside. 
She's uglier in her heart.
That's why she's alone. 

"In Dark Places" #pencilsketch

Senate uses the #nuclearoption to break filibuster and push through #Gorsuch

The Republican led Senate is using the so-called "nuclear option" to thwart the Democrat's filibuster of Trump Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. This involved amending Senate rules, which require a 60 vote majority to invoke "cloture," which would halt a filibuster and allow for a vote. Now the filibuster will end, and Gorsuch can be confirmed with a bare majority of 51 votes or, in a 50-50 tie, the Vice President would break the tie. 

Democrats used a similar tactic while George W. Bush was president, and the Republicans used the filibuster to block lower court judicial nominees. 

When Gorsuch is confirmed, the Republicans will control all three branches of government. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"In between places" #micropoetry #pencilsketch

Multiple worlds exist 
all in the same place.
To some, but not others. 
Some of us only see 
one place.
There are many places
in the paper. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

"Ordered Chaos" #Micropoetry #inkdrawing

Disorder has its own order.
But it is hard to see
through the chaos.

#Senate denies #MichaelFlynn immunity in Russian probe

Today the Senate said it will not give immunity to disgraced General Michael Flynn. Thursday Flynn's lawyer issued a statement saying Flynn, "Has a story to tell". But he wanted immunity, and he won't get it. Huff Po Flynn article.

Today President Trump said on Twitter that he hoped Flynn would get immunity. He blamed the Democrats and called the Russian robe a "witch hunt".

We shall see.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Thinking Around Corners" #Micropoetry

Corners are in our mind.
And they are often dark.
So we need to learn to think
around them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#NationalPoetryDay "Vaudevillian Radiance" #micropoetry

Even ugly things have their glow.
In their own way they shine.
Bright florescent colors
are garish.
And belong in a traveling carnival.
But even they have a perverse,
vaudevillian radiance.

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Pats on the back" #shortpoetry

Affirmation isn't necessary
if you really believe
you've accomplished something.
A certain city's citizens say,
"We are so great. Look at us."
I'm left to wonder where
the muck and dirt are hiding.
It is usually in plain sight
in the smile that's
really a sneer.
And that's all the more reason
to leave.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Facts matter even in a #posttruth age (no #alternativefacts)

There will always be facts even when there are "alternative facts," and alternative facts aren't facts at all. Lawyers rely on facts, and what the facts are is somewhat malleable--at least at times. There is one major caveat here: you can't be dishonest. Dishonesty makes debatable facts untrue, and I've seen plenty of dishonest lawyers. But it is up to lawyers to point out the truth.

Lawyers have risen up against unlawful and immoral "laws" recently, and throughout our history. They've once again regained the mantle of the 'guardians of our democracy.' Truth is at the heart of this, and that truth is we all matter. Laws matter. Facts matter. Truth matters.

Allegedly we are in a "post truth" age, and the solution to that is tell the truth.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Using a Vocational Expert to Win a #SocialSecurityDisability Case

 The vocational expert (VE) is an expert in the field of work, who testifies at a Social Security Disability hearing. The VE uses the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to respond to hypotheticals presented by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Hypotheticals are based on the claimant’s age, education, past work, skills, and ailments, both physical and mental. The VE is neutral, but, if properly questioned by the lawyer, the VE can become a tool to positively impact the case.
There are many schools of thought on how to question a VE. In my experience handling a few hundred disability hearings, the best thing to do is to find a quick and direct way to have the VE testify there are no jobs available. How do you do this?
 Assume a claimant is 45-years-old with a 12th grade education. Claimant’s past work is on the assembly line at the medium level (lifting 25 lbs. frequently, and 50 lbs. occasionally). Ailments include back problems (herniated discs) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and claimant cannot perform past work due to lifting requirements and standing requirements. VE rules out past work, but VE testifies there is light work (lifting 10 lbs. frequently, and 20 lbs. occasionally) available as a non-production oriented job sorting items while sitting down. What do you do then?
 Let us further assume claimant testified about IBS, and that testimony is supported by medical evidence. This issue requires a claimant take breaks, which take the claimant off task more than 20% of the day. Is the claimant disabled?
 More than likely, yes, because the legal standard is whether you can work eight hours a day, five days a week. If you are off task more than 20% of the day, you are not employable. Therefore, you are disabled.
 At first glance, claimant’s age (under 50) may give some lawyers pause. Not me. Age is significant, but the key issue is whether a claimant can work eight hours a day, five days a week. If that can be shown using VE testimony backed up by credible claimant testimony, and strong medical evidence, the age factor is less relevant.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Arches and Stairs" #sketchbook

Will #DonaldTrump and #Congress gut programs for those with disabilities?

It is likely. Mike Pence oversaw scaling back of Medicaid benefits in Indiana, and Trump's cabinet picks support the same tactics. Trump knows nothing about domestic policy, and he will take his cues from Pence.  Along with Congress, Trump wants to scale back Medicare, repeal Obamacare, bring back denying coverage for preexisting conditions, and limit access to programs such as Social Security Disability.

Trump and the new Congress want to dismantle the vestiges of the New Deal and get rid of Obamacare with no real replacement.

30 million will lose health insurance. This includes millions with disabilities, who will not have access to medical care.

It is also likely Trump and Congress will scale back laws meant to protect those with disabilities such as the American's With Disabilities Act.

For more information, check out this article in Slate. Terrified disabled people.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

If #Obamacare is repealed, then 20 million plus will lose health insurance #SaveACA

Whatever you think about Obamacare, if it is repealed, 20 million plus people will lose health insurance. EVERYONE'S rates will skyrocket.

"Pre-existing conditions" will be used to deny coverage. For example, pregnancy will be considered a pre-existing condition, and insurance companies won't cover delivering babies. Imagine what that will do to the average debt load. The debt will be unsustainable and insurmountable.

The irony here is the polls say people overwhelmingly favor the specific provisions of Obamacare. The problems is certain states 1) failed to properly set up the exchanges, and 2) they refused to take Medicaid money. North Carolina is one of those states.

Can you imagine what it will be like when millions of people on prescription drugs for psychological disorders, physical pain, cancer drugs––you name it––can no longer get these prescriptions? It will happen, and it will be terrible. Due to lack of coverage, thousands of people would die or have their lives ruined.

Obamacare CANNOT be repealed without a similar replacement plan. It would be an absolute disaster, and it would crash the economy. That's the least of our concerns with all the blood on the hands of law makers. Death, murder, and mayhem. It is coming. Are you ready?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"The Underneath" #sketchbook #2017

I drew this last night. It is from a picture of an underground water system in London.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

#Stockholm sign that applies to #2017

If ever there were a sign that describes a year, it is this sign. I saw it this fall as I walked down the streets of Stockholm, which is a beautiful city.

"Not on me" #micropoetry #2017

The cosmos have no reason
to do what they do.
Things happen.
It is random.
I don't wind the clock.
I wish I did.
So don't blame me when
it breaks.