LEGAL SERVICES BLOG

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Attorneys Prevail in Over 80% of VA Disability Appeals Cases

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t always give disabled vets their rightfully owed VA disability benefits. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might realize, leaving VA disability appeals as the only option for many disabled vets. The Department of Veterans Affairs has mistakenly withheld millions of dollars in disability benefits from eligible disabled veterans. (more…)

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Is the Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits Program Running Out of Money?

No, and the disabled need legal advocates more than ever.

 

If you’re an attorney handling Social Security Disability Insurance cases, you may know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

It’s when the U.S. Dept. of Labor recognizes the contributions of disabled workers and educates the public about them.

The origins of NDEAM date back to World War II, when troops with disabilities returned home.

To help service members re-integrate, Congress designated the first week of October as, “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”

Introducing Social Security Disability Insurance

Over the next several years, government officials would introduce other initiatives encouraging employers to hire disabled Americans.

These efforts proved somewhat successful. However, many disabled people struggled to meet their basic financial needs.

To address this problem, Congress created the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in 1956.

Amendments introduced two years later extended the benefits to dependents of disabled workers.

Meanwhile, awareness was spreading that disabilities come in many different forms; and in 1962, the organizers of National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week dropped “physically” from the name.

Who collects Social Security Disability Insurance?

Today, someone is considered disabled by the Social Security Administration if they cannot perform “substantial” work due to a medical condition expected to last at least a year, or that will result in their death.

Critics of SSDI say the program is in deep trouble.

In March, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, released a report, 16 Reforms to Improve the Solvency and Integrity of Social Security Disability Insurance. It began with this blunt assessment:  “The SSDI program is functionally and financially broken.”

Calls for SSDI reform

At first, Social Security Disability Insurance cost taxpayers 0.5% of their paychecks, according to the report.

That amount has more than tripled to 1.8% and it cannot fully fund the program. As a result, over the past three years, Congress has re-allocated $150 billion from Social Security retirement to SSDI.

The report identifies several issues, including:

  • Wait times approaching 600 days
  • Benefit denials for individuals with readily apparent disabilities
  • Nearly 50% of benefits awarded for non-medical factors
  • Program fraud and abuse

It recommends placing an emphasis on poverty prevention, recovery over dependence, and system integrity, all to preserve benefits for those who truly need them.

Other viewpoints on SSDI

Meanwhile, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), an industry trade association of non-attorney and attorney advocates, believes Social Security program stability should become a national priority.

“By keeping this program strong for people who have paid into the system, it prevents serious burdens such as homelessness brought on by foreclosures, evictions and bankruptcies,” the NOSSCR website states.

Social Security, it says, “is vital to the economic security of American workers and their families.”

NOSSCR supports re-allocating payroll taxes to the disability trust fund to reduce the shortfall.

Once that’s done, the association feels the next step is improving the disability determination and adjudication process to maintain the fund for current and future generations.

Is time running out?

In a recent article, Barron’s notes that Social Security benefits will exceed the program’s costs beginning in 2020.

The author further estimates the $2.9 trillion reserve fund will run out in 2035 – one year later than projected by the authors of the Heritage Foundation report.

Meanwhile, several organizations are urging lawmakers to strengthen the SSDI program. It is currently relied upon by 8.7 million disabled Americans and their families.

According to the SSA, one in four people who are 20 years old today will become disabled by the time they turn 67.

Attorneys are needed

NOSSCR notes that two-thirds of initial SSDI claims are denied.

As long as this holds true, they say, advocates perform a valuable service representing consumers navigating this complex system.

The first thing the association advises a claimant to do if their initial application is denied, is to file an appeal.

About 50% of those who go to a hearing win their appeal.

Close to 90% have representation at their hearing.

There are people right now typing away on their computer keyboards and tapping their phone screens, hoping to find an attorney who can help them obtain SSDI benefits.

If you are interested in growing your Social Security Disability Insurance practice, LeadingResponse can help you attract new clients and build your practice. Contact us to learn more.

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There’s a Brief Window to Find Auto Injury Leads That Will Convert Into Clients

According to the National Safety Council, about 4.5 million people were seriously injured in vehicle crashes in 2018.

Those hurt in car, truck or motorcycle accidents have a limited amount of time to seek compensation in the courts.

By the same token, attorneys who take these cases have a brief window of opportunity to obtain clients.

Factors that make auto injury leads time-sensitive include:

  • The statute of limitations in the state where the accident occurred
  • The need to recover valuable evidence in the case
  • The importance of contacting accident witnesses

Finding potential clients

Over the years, you have no doubt seen plenty of television commercials for personal injury law firms.

(Depending on where you live, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid them.)

While consumers may be wary of TV ads, they are increasingly turning to the Internet to explore their legal options.

In a recent LeadingResponse article about auto injury leads, we analyzed the search terms used by crash victims when researching attorneys.

Because when you know what a prospective client is looking for, you can tailor a campaign to them.

Qualifying auto injury leads

LeadingResponse follows a four-step process to maximize the return on investment for an auto injury lead generation campaign.

First, we employ multiple online platforms to engage consumers looking for an auto accident or personal injury attorney in your market.

Next, we minimize the competition by limiting the number of clients who can buy our exclusive leads.

Then we exclude those who already have an attorney, don’t meet your criteria, or do not pass our quality control standards.

After that, we deliver the leads to you by email, via our lead management system, or through your firm’s CRM.

Lastly, we share qualified lead contact information with our call center.

There, a representative trained in personal injury cases calls the prospect and works to convert them.

Growing auto injury claims

In closing, individuals typically must move quickly to seek legal remedies following a vehicle accident.

Since auto accident leads have a short shelf life, attorneys who want them must also act fast.

Of course, you can manage your auto accident lead generation yourself. But wouldn’t you rather spend your time building your practice?

LeadingResponse delivers over one million pre-qualified leads to clients each year.

Our digital marketing team will track campaign metrics and adjust tactics to ensure we generate only top-quality leads.

And LeadingResponse data shows our automobile accident leads convert at a rate of over 50%.

If your firm is small or you have never purchased leads before, our Lead Connect system is an ideal place to start.

Get in touch today to discover how our attorney marketing solutions can help grow your business.

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HOW MOST LEADS SEARCH FOR A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER ONLINE

If you’re a car accident lawyer targeting potential clients online, you need to know what words your prospects use in online search engines when they’re looking for someone like you. That’s partly because Google restricts certain advertising terms and targeting methods commonly used when promoting legal services online. But another reason to dig deeper comes from understanding user intent. What’s your ideal prospect typing into that search box? How many potential clients are you missing because your ad copy doesn’t match what they typed into Google? Let’s explore how to use this info to your firm’s advantage below!

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XARELTO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT SPARKS NEW INTEREST IN MASS TORT LEADS

Mass tort is a notoriously lucrative legal market, but it’s also hard to break into for many firms. That’s why Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s recent Xarelto settlement agreement is great news for anyone exploring this practice area. With $775 million in guaranteed payouts on the table, there’s little risk involved in testing this one out. But could this agreement snowball into additional tort payouts all year long? We certainly think so — and we’ll explain why below.

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Using Debt Relief Search Data to Target Potential Clients Online

Google Trends shows “debt relief” is both a popular search term and topic right now. Today, we’ll explain how you can use this info to grow your debt-related business. We’ll also examine how machine learning can cut average AdWords cost for finance-related terms almost in half. Learn where people are most interested in debt relief services and other tips to make your online marketing more effective. (more…)

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Are Negative SEO Tactics Hurting Your Business?

If you generate leads from people who visit your company’s website, you’re probably familiar with SEO — which stands for Search Engine Optimization. The problem is, the SEO tactics that work today won’t work tomorrow (and vice versa). In fact, SEO efforts that worked well as recently as 2015 may prove completely ineffective in 2019. For example, do you know how negative SEO tactics or unintentional mistakes may hurt your business? If not, it’s time to learn. (more…)

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Does Your Firm Have a Marketing Automation Strategy?

When it comes to marketing your firm, old-school ad agencies as seen in Mad Men no longer set the tone. You don’t need to hire 10 Don Drapers to effectively promote your services — even if it sounds appealing. These days, the industry buzz is all about setting up your marketing automation strategy. That’s right: Just set it and forget it! Then, let innovative software do all those boring, time-intensive marketing tasks for you… Heck, you can even put them to work while you sleep. (more…)

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