What is a Disability Advocate?
Ans: A Disability Advocate, also known as a Disability Consultant or non-attorney Representative, is a specially trained individual who assists people who are applying for Social Security disability benefits.
What does an Advocate do?
Ans: The duties of a Disability Advocate involve the execution of both formal and informal procedures on behalf of an applicant for Social Security disability benefits. These actions include but are not limited to document acquisition, evidence evaluation, argument creation and case management. The Advocate submits a written argument to Social Security for consideration. By law, Social Security must consider the Advocate’s argument before making a final decision. When the Advocate’s argument is properly structured and supported by evidence, it greatly enhances the client’s chances of winning benefits.
Who created disability advocacy?
Ans: The field of Disability Advocacy was created by Congress and is administered by the Social Security Administration. This is a legal and valid field with great potential for the properly educated Advocate
Is this a work-at-home scheme?
Ans: Disability Advocacy is not a franchise, business opportunity or work-at-home scheme. While our program does enable you to start and operate a business from home, it also has the added advantage of an existing infrastructure created and supported by Social Security. The need for Disability Advocates is generated by the system and is not diminished by time or over-saturation as is true with most business opportunities. These characteristics make Disability Advocacy as much a reliable career as it is an opportunity for you to own your own business.
Could I learn this from the Federal Code?
Ans: You can certainly learn about the field, but not how to practice. The Federal Code of regulations is just that, regulations. It is not designed to teach you the important fundamentals required for success in this field. The regulations also do not address the important business and marketing aspects of this service that are essential for commercial success.
Do I work for Social Security?
Ans: No. As a Disability Advocate, you are self-employed.
How do I qualify to be a Disability Advocate?
Ans: CFR regulation 404.1705(b): To qualify as a Disability Advocate, Social Security requires the following:
You must be of good character
You cannot be a current Federal employee working with SSA
You cannot have been disqualified to represent a client by SSA
You must have the knowledge required to render valuable service
Acquiring the knowledge needed to render valuable service to your clients is what our Disability Advocate training program is all about. If you wish to be certified in this field, there are additional qualifications you must meet.
Do I need a degree to practice or to be certified?
Ans: You do not need a degree to practice as a Disability Advocate. You also do not need a degree to be certified as a Disability Advocate. There are websites claiming that you must have a degree, but these sources are simply incorrect. The rules associated with the non-attorney direct pay program have changed. For more information about advocate certification, visit CPS Human Resource Services.
Who Certifies Advocates?
Ans: Non-attorney Disability Advocates are certified by the Social Security Administration. Please note that certification is an option and is not required to practice in this field. For details on the requirements for entering the direct payment program, visit www.ssa.gov.
Will SSA cooperate with me?
Ans: If you meet SSA’s basic qualifications as a Disability Advocate, they have no choice! Social Security’s own regulations have made it possible for Advocates to assist those applying for disability benefits. You can expect full cooperation from Social Security because your authority to represent comes directly from your clients and the Federal Code.
What kind of background do I need?
Ans: No particular background or education beyond high-school is required in this field. Our unique operational technique enables anyone to effectively review complex medical documentation without the need for formal medical training. No matter what your background, our program can provide you with the fundamental skills required to win cases.
Aren’t all Advocate training programs the same?
Ans: Advocate training programs are not created equal! The technical and operational approaches offered in our course are unique. We offer an exclusive curriculum that is continually revised in order to keep our students at the cutting edge of this industry. Our program also focuses on the important business, marketing, operational and income-boosting aspects of this service that will help you succeed regardless of location, experience or level of competition.
Innovation is Everything
Ans: As is true of most professions, success belongs to those who innovate. Disability Associates is the only training source that continually seeks new ways of improving both the quality and effectiveness of our training and operational techniques. Instead of copying other trainers, we focus on creating custom techniques based on real-life situations faced by Advocates on a daily basis. No other training source can provide you with the depth of knowledge, business insights and unique operational software that we provide in our training packages.
Do I have to meet with each client?
Ans: Not if you use our approach! Our program shows you how to practice in the most efficient way possible. We do not recommend that our students meet with each and every client because to do so would be an inefficient way of doing business. We also provide training in what we call remote representation. These techniques enable you to accept cases from across town or across the country.
SSA told me that they help the claimant to apply.
Ans: The Social Security Administration will help a claimant complete the application process, but it does not represent the specific interests of that claimant. A Disability Advocate does represent the specific interests of the claimant and will actively seek to present the best case possible for Social Security’s consideration. This is a far cry from simply helping a person fill out forms.
SA told me that they have never heard of disability advocacy.
Ans: Occasionally, you’ll be told by a Social Security employee that they have never heard of Disability Advocacy. If this occurs, don’t panic! Social Security refers to Advocates as non-attorney Representatives. Use the term non-attorney Representative when contacting the Social Security Administration for information about this field. Keep in mind that Disability Advocacy is the government’s best kept secret and is not widely known or understood by many, including most Social Security employees.
Is there a market for this service?
Ans: Nationwide, there is an enormous untapped pool of potential customers desperately in need of sound representational services. In addition to more than two million new applicants a year, there are literally hundreds of thousands of previously denied applicants seeking appeals. Taken together, these sources represent a nearly inexhaustible supply of potential customers for your service. Add to this the fact that the American population is aging and you can begin to understand the underlying demographics driving this industry.
Is there growth potential?
Ans: You bet there is! Due in large part to the aging of our population and the public’s growing awareness of the Disability Program, a steadily expanding market is being generated that ensures the future of Disability Advocates for generations to come.
What about competition?
Ans: Today, there are a growing number of both attorney and non-attorney Disability Advocates offering representational services to the general public. Now more than ever, to compete successfully you need the innovative marketing and operational techniques offered in our course. Disability Associates is the only training source that can provide you with long-term, proven solutions to today’s marketing challenges! No matter what market you’re in – big city or small – our marketing techniques will enable you to beat the competition and consistently attract as many qualified customers as you desire.
I was told that only attorneys can represent claimants.
Ans: To represent a disabled client, you do not have to be an attorney or work for one! If you did have to be an attorney, Social Security’s own rules for practicing as a non-attorney Representative would make no sense. The Social Security Administration would not create rules and regulations for a service that does not exist!
Are we in competition with attorneys?
Ans: Attorneys practice law, we practice Disability Advocacy. The average attorney can take up to 2.5 years to complete a case, compared to six months for disability advocate. Our common-sense approach eliminates the need to perform time-consuming research, annotation and case modeling. Our approach uses a logical functional review system coupled with our exclusive case evaluation formula, allowing you to win more cases, with less work over a shorter period of time. Our average 94% win rate actually exceeds that of most attorneys and can save the client thousands of dollars in fees when compared to attorney representation. Once a claimant figures this out, who do you think they’ll hire?
Why would anyone pay me for this service?
Ans: A disability applicant’s benefits can exceed $1500 a month in tax-free cash payments, plus assistance with medical and hospital costs that could exceed a million dollars in total benefits. If you don’t think this is motivation enough for a disabled person to seek your help, add the fact that Social Security’s own research shows that a person has a much greater chance of receiving benefits with representation. Couple that with the ease and efficiency of our system and you have the ingredients for a highly successful advocacy service.
How much will I be paid?
Ans: The actual amount paid for representing a disability case varies depending upon a number of case factors, including the onset of the impairment and the client’s income history. The average fee for our firm is approximately $2200 per case with a generous maximum fee potential of $6000.
Who pays me?
Ans: You’re paid by the client you represent under what is essentially a three-way contract between you, the client and SSA. The Social Security Administration also allows certified Advocates to be paid directly under their pilot program. In order to be certified, you must be an experienced Advocate and pass Social Security’s certification examination. Our program is specifically designed to prepare you for this optional examination. But, we didn’t stop there! Within our Executive course, we also provide you with a very special software program called the Examination Primer. If you’re a poor test taker, this exclusive software will help you to prepare and improve your odds of passing the SSA’s certification examination.
How do I protect my fee?
Ans: Forget about collections, credit reports and all of that stuff. Our exclusive fee protection techniques take ten minutes to implement and it doesn’t cost you a dime! As a result of our approach to fee protection, we’ve experienced a less than 2% non-paid account rate over the past twenty-five-year service.
Can a disabled person afford this service?
Ans: The popular myth is that anyone applying for disability benefits is poverty stricken and unable to afford representation. The reality is that the majority of applicants are no different than we are. The average applicant is a working individual who, as a result of an acute injury or illness, is no longer able to sustain work. By the year 2020, one in four Americans over the age of forty-five will fit this definition and will need the services of a professional Disability Advocate.
What about my community?
Ans: Every community in the USA is a potential gold mine for a professional Disability Advocate. Our training program not only teaches you how to represent a disability claim, it also teaches you how to operate your service using proven business methods that maximize your chances of success.
Why couldn’t I find an Advocate locally?
Ans: It’s possible that there are no Advocates in your community. Even if there are, an individual advocate can only process a finite number of cases within a given period of time. As a result, it’s rarely necessary for our Advocate to depend exclusively upon general advertising to attract customers. This makes it possible for an Advocate to have less general visible while still enjoying maximum success.
How much capital do I need?
Ans: Because of our unique community-based approach to marketing, most Advocates can start this service for less than $1500. Once your community becomes aware of your ability to serve their representational needs, your advocacy service will virtually grow on its own.
Are there any additional fees?
Ans: We are a representation, training, and software development service company, not a franchise. All payments associated with the representation of a client go directly to you. We do not charge percentages, kickbacks or franchise fees of any kind
Is Disability Advocacy difficult?
Ans: This service can be performed effectively by anyone of average intelligence with good reading and writing skills. No prior experience is necessary beyond our course.
Can I work from home?
Ans: Disability Advocacy is the perfect occupation for those who wish to work from home or office. A home office has several advantages including low overhead, controlled scheduling and the opportunity to enjoy more leisure time with friends and family. Our training program assumes that you’ll work from home and provides valuable information on how to operate successfully without jeopardizing your privacy or security.
How long does it take to complete a case?
Ans: Advocates who are not using our techniques have waited a year or more for a disability decision. Many Attorneys in this field can take up to 3 years to complete a case. In our opinion, waiting more than six months for a disability decision is ridiculous! Our average case takes less than 120 days and some are completed within a few short weeks. If you understand the internal mechanisms that drive the disability process you’ll have no problems acquiring rapid decisions. Our program provides custom solutions to these case bottlenecks, enabling you to do more cases, with less work over a shorter period of time.
How long does it take to complete the training?
Ans: We have had students complete our course in less than two weeks. The average individual spending two or three hours a day on our materials will usually complete our program in less than thirty days.
How important is your software?
Ans: Trying to operate a modern advocacy service without custom software is like climbing a mountain without a rope. With dogged determination, you can reach the panicle without software’ but work four-times harder. Bottom-line, to be successful in business you must generate a profit and have enough time left over for the family. The key to creating a profitable advocacy service is procedural efficiency. The faster, easier and more automated your approach, the more likely you are to succeed. Our new Olivia case management software is designed to bring greater speed, ease, and efficiency to your advocacy service. Click here to learn more.
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What equipment do I need?
Ans: To operate a Disability Advocacy service, you’ll need a PC, laptop, Smart-phone or Tablet, high-speed Internet access, a printer and a determination to succeed.
Do you provide references?
Ans: Yes we do! To speak directly with a student reference, make a request via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I confirm the existence of this service?
Ans: Go to the Social Security website and type in ‘non-attorney representative’. The field of Disability Advocacy and all benefits attributed to it can be verified via the Social Security Administration or the Federal Code.