In many regions of the U.S., it may be difficult to find an experienced attorney in the areas of veterans disability and social security disability. This makes it exponentially more difficult to win disability benefits, as there may be tactics for success that an individual would otherwise miss.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates Ltd. serves clients across the country for both VA benefits and Social Security Administration benefits. While the office is located in Illinois, Conick has traveled to the west coast, south and other areas of the country to attend hearings.
Conick answered a few questions about working remotely as a client’s counsel for disability cases.
Question: How can you work as counsel for a client in another part of the country?
Conick: Well, from a practical standpoint, we generally handle cases in the Midwest but we do handle cases out of the state when the need arises. We handle cases nationwide for veterans and social security disability. We normally concentrate on the Midwest for SSA disability, but VA disability can be national. We can handle VA cases in any state no matter the circumstance. The reason is there’s very rarely a hearing in the VA case, making it easier to manage than a SSA case would be.
The cases can be taken on either by phone, email communication or mail. Documents necessary can be handled that way, as well as medical records and any other info that needs to be communicated. We communicate with the government through electronic filing as well.
Q: How does this work specifically for a VA case?
C: The client sends in their VA rating decision or other benefit denial and then I analyze whether or not we can be of service to them if they are appealing a rating decision
Q: What about the SSA?
A: Social security would be the same thing procedure, we’d just have to establish if the ultimate site of the hearing is in a location that we could attend with the client. That’s going to depend on where it is, what state it is in. I will go to other states or region if the case warrants it. I have traveled to Arizona and other further away places.
Q: Is there an advantage to hiring you compared with a local attorney?
A: The advantage is the levels of experience that my staff and I have is, in general, probably higher than anyone they could get from local counsel. The key is to win, not convenience. You want to hire somebody who has a lot of trial experience and has a staff that can work up the medical file to have enough evidence to win the case. We’re experts in that.
A woman from Michigan hired us because she liked the way the staff treated her. She wasn’t getting that from other people she called and that was her reason for hiring us.
Q: Is this going to be happening more in the future? Is it becoming more accepted?
A: I think its trending that way. It is possible to do it but theres still the connection between the client and lawyer that needs to be established that makes the client feel comfortable that they’re doing the right thing by hiring the firm. You’re not going to hire somebody unless you feel comfortable with them, regardless of the location.