The National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives (NOSSCR) held its semiannual conference in Arlington, Virginia, last week. Our attorneys John O. Goss, J. Russell Fentress IV, Erick A. Bowman and John S. O’Neil attended.

The conference is an opportunity for continuing education about the newest developments in the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This helps us to more effectively represent our clients with their Social Security disability appeal. This year, we focused our own training on the developments relating to federal court appeals of wrongful denials of claims by administrative law judges. While non-attorney disability advocates do not represent claimants this far in the appeal process, we as attorneys consider the federal court appeals to be a vital component of competent disability attorney representation. The NOSSCR conference presents us with a rare opportunity to discuss this area of practice with some of the best Social Security Disability lawyers in the country.

          We also heard from Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the staunchest defenders of Social Security. With current news media so intent on presenting a negative view of our nation’s most treasured social insurance program, it is always heartening to hear from a legislator who so steadfastly fights for disabled Americans.

Finally, Ellen Nissenbaum of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities gave conference attendees a grim but realistic preview of the coming battles this year in Congress and between Congress and the President, as the Republican congressional majorities attempt to damage or destroy the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This will be a fierce fight, indeed, and we will need to call upon our Senators and Congressmen to do the right thing in saving the program – and the disabled Americans it serves – from harm.