In Tacoma, average is 18 Months if you filed in September 2017.We created this table for the Pacific Northwest from SSA data:
No. In fact, you can easily apply using Social Security's website by clicking [here]. Before you file, make sure you review Social Security's "Before You File" checklist [here]. The checklist is also located [here]. Finally, many companies and firms will take a fee to help you file, and Social Security also has facilitators for free at the local field office or the state agencies. However, the SSA website is really all most people need. SSA has a pretty good short video, [here], on their "Apply for Disability" webpage. You can apply over the phone: 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call them at TTY 1-800-325-0778. The local Tacoma Social Security field office is located [here]. If you need to find any other Social Security Field office, you can find it [here] through SSA's locator.
You can check the status directly with Social Security, [here]. If you are our client, just ask us, (although in all likelihood you will never need to as we will keep you informed with regular updates, and will also update you any time we take action on your case).
Yes, you can hire us. Assuming we mutually agree, we can send a letter to your current representative over your signature terminating the current relationship and requesting a copy of your file. Here is an infographic overview of how we process your case, PounceProcess.
No. We specialize in helping clients who:
- Have already filed; and
- Have been denied at initial and at reconsideration; and
- Plan to appeal or have done so by requesting a hearing before an ALJ.
Unfortunately, we cannot take every case that requests our skills and services. As founder of PounceLaw, I gave up being an ALJ to focus exclusively on providing a rapid solution to the most vulnerable among us. So that means something more than someone who may legally qualify for disability under the expanded rules. Inevitably, this focus, combined with limited resources, requires a "triage" approach that means some cases, even if meritorious, will be referred elsewhere.
Just what it sounds like. Our passion is to help the truly disabled. Not the "technically disabled" or the "soon to be disabled, so I have filed early" or the "I would not be disabled if I just quit drugs/alcohol or simply followed my doctor's orders" ... you get the idea. Does our detailed knowledge of the regulations and processes mean that we know the disability system inside and out? Yes, but we choose to use those skills and knowledge with a tight emphasis on the truly disabled. To learn more, click here.
Because hearings are, above all, uncertain. And in uncertainty, a proven ability to thrive in the chaos matters. Litigation skills --skills which may be learned first in law school, then practiced in the courtroom -- matter. They teach you to think on your feet, to adapt to new situations and exploit opportunities. They teach you how to frame the story of the person beside you, your client, in a way that best highlights how the client's point of view matches the reality of the situation. As an ALJ with eight years of observational experience of representatives in the Social Security Disability field, I can tell you that many reps ask the same questions in hearing after hearing. Because of this "cookie-cutter" approach, they add little value to their client's unique individual case. Adding insult to injury, many reps go on to bumble through the record, trying to figure out how to counter the testimony of an expert, or even how to "rehabilitate" their client if something doesn't add up to the ALJ. This leaves you, the client, swinging in the breeze, your chances of success declining by the moment. This is NOT a good place to be. It is NOT the best time to find out that your rep doesn't know your case or cannot deftly repair the situation and excel. No single client can see this. ALJs, however, can and do see this every day. If you, or a loved one is someone who is truly disabled, imagine that loved one in the hands of a rep who cannot effectively cross-examine an expert witness because they have never done it in "real court." Bottom line, if you are truly disabled, please do your homework before hiring your representative. There are some good representatives out there. Of course the best representation is found here! 🙂 PounceLaw.
The numbers game is a statistical approach that many disability firms use to maximize income. It makes sense for the firm, but not for the client. Here's how it works: Assume the pay rate for a given hearing office is 50%. That means the office pays 50%, or half, of all the cases coming into the hearing office. Now this pay rate does not mean the ALJs are tossing coins. It is merely the statistical average after each case is independently decided. One can easily see that if a representative (or "rep") has ten cases coming up for hearing in a month, that rep may logically assume that five of them will be paid, or 50%. Each paid case would authorize a representative fee based upon the back award. "Volume" firms are almost always based on this model. What this means is that a busy representative does not have an incentive to customize their case preparation. Further, the question of who is truly disabled does not have the weight that it should. Click [COMING SOON] for an infographic, "How Cases Are Usually Handled".
ALJs are rated by the number of cases in which they grant disability (not by the amount of money they award). So a "low paying ALJ" issues benefits less frequently than a "high paying ALJ".
No. ALJs are not your adversary. Many low paying ALJs have approved disability in cases after the representative quit their case solely because a low paying ALJ was assigned. Remember, a firm that uses the "numbers game" model considers that a low paying ALJ "gums up" the works and requires more effort to get the same outcome. It is more cost effective for the rep to quit than to continue. PounceLaw does not play the numbers game. We will not quit your case because an ALJ has a low pay rate. ALJs are incredibly hardworking, under-supported professionals. It is our job to get your case before these professionals as quickly as we can and with the right evidence to win the decisive moment regardless of any arbitrary statistic associated with the judge.
No. Disability is a legal determination made by the Commissioner of Social Security through his or her delegate. Just because PounceLaw does not take your case does not mean that you will not be found disabled by the agency. If we don't take your case we may suggest a referral to someone else who may be a better fit. PounceLaw does not play the "numbers game" (see FAQ, "What Is The Numbers Game") but gives individual assistance to every client we take. Because we passionately care about the clients we take, we cannot take too many clients without degrading our service for the truly disabled.
When we talk about winning the decisive moment, or moment of decision, we are talking about providing the ALJ with overwhelming evidence of your truly disabled status. We will not trickle in the evidence. We will not provide just enough to tip the scale. Here at PounceLaw, we will address the issues in your case and then show the judge every point that proves your case. This not about winning at all costs. It is about putting all the facts on the table so that the ALJ "gets it." Right then, right there. Contrary to what you may have heard, all ALJs feel very good inside when they can grant benefits to a truly deserving claimant. At PounceLaw we believe it is our solemn responsibility to provide the ALJ with everything s/he needs the first time. Not after the hearing is over. We don't believe it is right, or professional, to ask the ALJ for more time to dig up records that we should have found the first time. Moreover, you will be prepared to answer any question or concern the ALJ may have. Winning the decisive moment. PounceLaw, it's what we do.
No. The Social Security Administration sets the fees across the board. They are generally capped at 25% of the back award or $6000, whichever is less. However, because of our unique processes, we will make every effort to get your decision as quickly as possible, thereby lowering the cost you may pay for our services. [INFOGRAPHIC Link Coming Soon.]