As a follow-up to my last post on initial application approval data by state, I thought it useful to compile state statistics on reconsideration approval rates. While many attorneys and disability advocates focus solely on approval rates at the hearing level, knowing initial and recon approval rates can help project short-term receivables needed to pay overhead and staffing costs and assist in calculating future hearing workload for attorneys and advocates.
When discussing approval rates within the context of Social Security Disability law, attorneys and disability advocates often focus on ODAR hearing approval rates. Indeed, hearing approval rates provide great insight to third-party representatives into the attractiveness of cases in certain ODARs. However, recognizing the fluctuation in approval data at the initial adjudication level may prove vital in constructing an effective business model for your disability practice.
The fiscal health of the Social Security program continues to prove itself a politically contentious topic. Placing politics on the sideline, I found myself wondering how the equivalents of SSA’s Old Age, Disability, and Survivors program functioned in other parts of the world. Since both recipients and politicians often criticize the American Social Security system, I decided to peruse the SSA’s Social Security Programs Throughout the World reports to find out about OASDI benefits programs in the top four countries by GDP.*
Each year, the SSA publishes its “Annual Statistical Report on the Social Disability Insurance Program.” This report, usually released at the end of each calendar year, features a plethora of statistics that chronicle the amount of disability payments, analyze approval ratings, profile disability recipients, and more.
The start of each year introduces the possibility of the SSA implementing drastic changes that citizens and pundits alike fear will one day be inevitable. Fortunately, based on the annual Fact Sheet released by the SSA, 2016 will not be one of those years. Nevertheless, Social Security attorneys and advocates should be aware of important changes that can affect both your clients and your bottom line in 2016.
Whether you practice Bankruptcy, FDCPA Violations, Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, or Workers' Compensation, the start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the state of your law practice and to formulate a strategy for the upcoming year. Putting your goals on paper can be an effective way to stick to a plan and to hold yourself accountable.
A few months ago, I published a partial transcript of an interview conducted with a lead screener at a national Social Security law firm, which highlighted the importance of prompt and persistent lead follow-up. However, many attorneys and advocates struggle with converting “desired” claimants (i.e., claimants you would like to sign) to actual signed clients. Regardless of how many high-potential case leads you qualify, you will not witness an increase in signed case inventory, unless you are unable to secure representation documents from the claimants.
Previous posts on our blog discussed the importance of prompt and persistent follow-up with internet case leads. During my conversations with clients, attorneys and advocates often recognize the importance of a robust follow-up effort, but remain unsure how to implement an actual system to accomplish it.
Over the past six years, several hundred attorneys and advocates have utilized our Social Security Disability lead generation service. Many obtain a phenomenal return on investment with the leads, but others sometimes report unsatisfactory results. We constantly strive to improve our lead quality, and from the conversion data reported to us from existing clients, our lead quality has steadily increased over time. Nevertheless, irrespective of lead quality improvement, I still encounter some firms who try our service, but struggle to achieve the desired results.
In my last post, I wrote about maximizing lead conversion and briefly outlined five tips that can assist in increasing return-on-investment with an online lead service. The article included recommendations on how to create an efficient follow-up process, based on conversations and feedback from attorneys and advocates who use our service. However, upon reflecting on the content of that post as well as the conversations I have with clients on a near-daily basis, I came to the realization that it could be much more effective to sit down with a client and to report the client’s advice directly.