Social Security Disability 101 From Start to Finish (2021)

Martha Yancey
Lisa Cunningham
Lisa McNair Palmer
Dirk May
Josephine Gerrard, Attorney at Law
Jerry Zivic
Martha Yancey | Yancey Law PC
Lisa Cunningham | Law Offices of Eric Shore
Lisa McNair Palmer | Law office of Lisa McNair Palmer
Dirk May | Williams & Swee Ltd.
Josephine Gerrard, Attorney at Law | Gerrard Law Offices
Jerry Zivic |

On-Demand: October 27, 2021

$245.00 6.5 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I – Basic Overview – Martha Yancey
The process to win benefits for Social Security Disability clients; how SSA decides whether a claimant is disabled; practice tips to increase your clients’ chances of winning.

Key Topics

  • SSA disability process and timeline
  • The 5 Step Sequential Evaluation process used by SSA
  • What evidence you NEED to obtain and what evidence you SHOULD obtain

Session II – Case Management: The steps to successfully handling a case – Lisa Cunningham
This section of the course will provide insight into the client intake process, how attendees can increase their effectiveness when communicating with SSA and OHO, and practice tips on managing cases for the long haul.

Key Topics

  • Wading through prospective clients and an overview of the client intake process
  • Key forms and filing deadlines
  • Communicating with SSA and OHO
  • Avoiding case management pitfalls

Session III – The Law, Rules and Regulations – Lisa McNair Palmer
Attendees can expect to learn the basics of the law, rules and regulations you need to know to win your disability claims at the Social Security Administration. You will receive basic information and key strategies from an experienced disability lawyer.

Key Topics

  • How to use the law, rules and regulations to win your cases
  • How to use the Social Security Rulings
  • How to use the “grids”
  • How to use the case law

Session IV – Building the Case & Administrative Law Hearing – Dirk May
How to prepare your case for maximum impact before SSA and the Administrative Law Judge from application stage to hearing. Tips for evidence preparation and how to effectively highlight a claimant’s limitations. Questions the ALJ typically asks and why. The importance of vocational expert testimony and some important questions to ask.

Key Topics:

  • Building the Case
  • The Administrative Law Hearing

Session V – Social Security Disability Ethics – Josephine Gerrard
A summary of ethical considerations as they pertain to representing social security disability clients at the administrative and federal level. Attorney’s will learn which rules of ethics apply to cases at each level, administrative and federal.

Key Topics:

  • Responsibility to the client
  • Responsibility to the social security administration
  • Rules of ethics representing clients in Federal Court

Session VI – Continuing Disability Review / Helping Your Client Keep Their Benefits – Jerry Zivic
Tips, tools and strategies on how to help your client navigate a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) and be successful in keeping their benefits.

Key Topics

  • The scope of attorney representation in Social Security Disability cases
  • Advice for your client after they are awarded benefits
  • What to say to your clients when they call after receiving notice of a Continuing Disability Review
  • Can an attorney get paid representing a client in a Continuing Disability Review?

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Jerry Zivic on How to Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits: Tips, Tools & Strategies for Success (Volume 1), now available, sold separately (The Book will be available free of charge on October the 27th and 28th, 2021).

How to Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits: Tips, Tools & Strategies for Success (Volume 1)_Jerry Zivic_myLawCLE
(Click Here to get the Book)

Date: September 20, 2022

Closed-captioning available


Martha Yancey_Yancey Law PC_myLawCLEMartha Yancey | Yancey Law PC

 Attorney Martha Yancey’s law practice focuses on Social Security Disability appeals. She is a master at helping her clients navigate the legal landscape by explaining technical concepts in plain English so that her clients can make informed decisions. She has helped thousands of clients win the benefits they deserve. She has also litigated and won numerous cases in Federal District Courts against the Social Security Administration. She prides herself on providing excellent representation at all levels of appeal.

She is a member of NOSSCR, a national organization of attorneys representing Social Security Disability claimants. She is an active member of the California Bar Association and the Georgia Bar Association. She serves on the San Diego Law Library Foundation Board. She is the author of The Applicant’s Guide to Social Security Disability.

She can be reached at: [email protected]

Lisa Cunningham_Law Offices of Eric Shore_myLawCLELisa Cunningham | Law Offices of Eric Shore

Lisa Cunningham, Esq. is an experienced client advocate who focuses her practice on Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability Benefits.  As a managing attorney at the Law Offices of Eric Shore, Lisa oversees a team with over 40 years of combined Disability practice experience. Lisa helps the Law Offices of Eric Shore to stand apart from other Disability firms by representing her Disability clients at the initial stages of the Disability process through the various appeals stages. Lisa serves her clients both inside and outside the courtroom.  Lisa has lectured on various Disability, ethics, and professional development topics before the public and other attorneys.

Lisa earned her law degree from the University of Baltimore, where she served as a Moot Court team member and received the Dean’s Citation Award for Outstanding Achievement.  Lisa also received first place in the National Law Review student writing competition. She is licensed to practice law in New York State.

Lisa McNair Palmer_Law office of Lisa McNair Palmer_myLawCLELisa McNair Palmer | Law office of Lisa McNair Palmer

Lisa McNair Palmer is a bestselling, multi-published author who has helped thousands of disabled people get the disability benefits they need and deserve. She represents clients at all levels of the disability process and has written hundreds of federal court briefs. Lisa is a sustaining member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) and a long-time member of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA).

Lisa is also a public speaker seen in The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe, and on ABC, NBC, FOX News, and CBS News. She teaches other attorneys, representatives, EDPNAs, accredited agents, and their staff members how to be more successful and fulfilled while serving the disabled members of the national community. Lisa also has an active estate planning practice to help people understand why they need to plan for the unexpected, their children’s futures, and for end-of-life concerns. She loves to help people solve their problems.

In her spare time, Lisa is an avid zipliner, foodie, spelunker, world-wide traveler, snorkeler, spelunker, learner, lover of beaches, friend, daughter, sister, and mom. She is also a proud member of the Cherokee tribe.

Dirk May_Williams & Swee Ltd._myLawCLEDirk May | Williams & Swee Ltd.

Dirk May has been an attorney with Williams & Swee Ltd. in Bloomington, Illinois since 2003. He focuses on representing Social Security Disability clients from initial filing through the Administrative Law Judge hearing level, and at the Appeals Council level if necessary.

Josephine Gerrard, Attorney at Law_Gerrard Law Offices_myLawCLEJosephine Gerrard, Attorney at Law | Gerrard Law Offices

 California Bar License 303221
Federal and Administrative Social Security Appeals.

She is a member of the following associations:

  • National Organization of Social Security Representatives (NOSSCR)
  • National Association of Disability Representatives. (NADR)
  • Bay Area National Organization of Social Security Representatives (BASSCR)
  • Federal Bar Association

She appears before the following courts:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Courts: Eastern, Northern, Central and Southern District of California
  • United Colorado District Court
  • United States District Court, Nevada, Las Vegas (Pro Hac Vice)
  • United States District Court Arizona (Pro Hac Vice)
  • United States District Court of Idaho (Pro Hac Vice)


  • University of California Berkeley, Political Science, BA
  • Golden Gate University Law School, JD
  • Pennsylvania State University, Speech Communication, Ph.C.
  • San Francisco State University, Speech Communications, MA
  • California State University Northridge, Communicative Disorders, MS.

Jerry Zivic_myLawCLEJerry Zivic

Jerry is a retired attorney who was the head of the National Social Security Disability Practice and has helped thousands of individuals to get their Social Security Disability Benefits. He is now a media commentator and shares his unique perspective and passion for helping others. You can find him as a television commentator and radio guest addressing all kinds of Social Security issues, veterans’ concerns, and a variety of consumer matters.

He has authored numerous articles, lectured at different associations and organizations along with teaching attorney about Social Security Disability. Jerry has supported numerous charities and has served on many boards, including the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission where he was a public commissioner and served as a Chairman of the Professional Conduct Committee.   He has hosted a National Social Security Disability conference for a long-term disability insurance companies for eight years. He has also been a member of several attorney related organizations.

Jerry and his son Aaron have coauthored the bestselling book How to Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits.


Session I – Basic Overview | 10:00 am – 11:10 am
I. The timeline of a SSA case, from initial filing, to hearing and beyond | 10:00 am – 10:15 am
II. How SSA decides whether a claimant is disabled | 10:15 am – 10:30 am

a. -The 5 Step Sequential Evaluation Process
b. -The Residual Functional Capacity
c. -Evaluation of Opinion Evidence

III. Evidence | 10:30 am – 10:45 am

a. What evidence you need to get
b. What evidence you should get

IV. Helpful tips if you are just starting out | 10:45 am – 11:00 am

Break | 11:00 am – 11:10 am

Session II – Case Management: The steps to successfully handling a case | 11:10 am – 12:20 pm
I. Overview of prospect client intake questionnaire, what is information is necessary, what information is preferred, determining when to accept a case and when not to accept a case | 11:10 am – 11:25 am
II. Key forms and filing deadlines: representation paperwork, iclaims and SSI applications, appeals, and other SSA forms | 11:25 am – 11:40 am
III. Communicating effectively with SSA and OHO: electronic submissions, ERE, status calls, post entitlement follow up | 11:40 am – 12:00 pm
IV. Avoiding case management pitfalls | 12:00pm – 12:10 pm

Break | 12:10 pm – 12:20 pm

Session III – The Law, Rules and Regulations | 12:20 pm – 1:50 pm
I. What are SSRs and why do I care? | 12:20 pm – 12:30 pm
II. What are the “grids” and why do I care? | 12:30 pm – 12:40 pm
III. Why do I care about case law? | 12:40 pm – 12:50 pm
IV. What are the POMS and why do I care? | 12:50 pm – 1:00 pm
V. What’s a HALLEX and why do I care? | 1:00 pm – 1:10 pm
VI. What are the Listings and why do I care? | 1:10 pm – 1:20 pm

Break | 1:20 pm – 1:50pm

Session IV – Building the Case & Administrative Law Hearing | 1:50 pm – 3:30 pm
I. Medical opinions and what the ALJ looks for | 1:50 pm – 2:10 pm
II. What SSA looks for in medical records | 2:10 pm – 2:35 pm
III. Important hearing preparation steps | 2:35 pm – 2:50 pm

Break | 2:50pm – 3:00pm

IV. Cross examining medical and vocational experts | 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Session V – Social Security Disability Ethics | 3:30 pm – 4:40 pm
I. Ethical considerations when taking a case. | 3:30 pm – 3:42 pm
II. Ethical considerations as they pertain to medical records. | 3:42 pm – 4:00 pm

Break | 4:00 pm – 4:10 pm

III. Ethical considerations when appearing Administrative Hearing, Federal District Court and the Circuit Courts | 4:10 pm – 4:20 pm
IV. Ethical considerations if a conflict arises during representation; specific fiduciary duties, duty to the mentally impaired | 4:20 pm – 4:30 pm
V. Ethical considerations as to payments. | 4:30 pm – 4:40 pm

Session VI – Continuing Disability Review / Helping Your Client Keep Their Benefits | 4:40 pm – 5:50 pm
I. What to do before receiving a CDR? | 4:40 pm – 4:48 pm
II. When does a CDR typically happen? | 4:48 pm – 4:56 pm
III. You’ve got mail… a CDR. | 4:56 pm – 5:10 pm

Break | 5:10 pm – 5:20 pm

IV. What to do once a client has received a notice of CDR? | 5:20 pm – 5:26 pm
V. How Social Security decides whether or not a claimant is still disabled. | 5:26 pm – 5:30 pm
VI. What if a client’s benefits are terminated? | 5:30 pm – 5:35 pm
VII. Overview of different forms. | 5:35 pm – 5:40 pm
VIII. Impact of compassionate allowances. | 5:40 pm – 5:50 pm