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Mental Disability Psychologists

4627 Spruce Street (Suite 1)

Philadelphia, PA 19139-4542

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Children can

get disability

due to bad

behavior and

poor learning



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A. Kids might, if disabled, that is, not function like others their age, acquire SSI cash payments based upon the parents’ economic status. Disability for them includes bad behavior as well as psychological problems and learning disabilities.

Appeals Process

Q. Is there anything a person can do who’s been turned down?

A. Yes. Social Security has an elaborate appeals process: reconsideration, that is, by someone else at the Disability Determination Services (DDS). As a second shot, reconsideration does not necessarily require an attorney, and most people can handle it themselves. Then there’s a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), and, also, the Appeals Council. That’s not all...there’s the District Court, the circuit court–and, perhaps, all the way to the Supreme Court. Social Security is known to battle a claimant as far as the highest court.

Q. Wow! That must cost a small fortune.


A. Granted it’s not dirt cheap, and an ALJ hearing certainly will call for a lawyer, one well versed in Social Security law. But, and there’s a “but.” The lawyer could take the case on a contingency basis, that is, you win, the lawyer gets paid; you lose, the lawyer gets zilch. So, here’s the but: They can’t do a cotton pickin’ thing without good medical evidence. So, do the application right the first time and no appeal is necessary.

Q. Back to attorneys and lawyers, how much do they get?

A Maybe as much as 25% of the whole Social Security award including any back money. The top limit is $6,000.

Role Of Psychologists

Q. I know we’re on the verge of winding down. But before ending, may I ask a few questions about the role of psychologists in the Social Security system?

A. Be my guest. And not to be ignored is the pivotal role played by us in and out of a DDS where first level determinations are made for all cases of disability under contract with the Social Security Administration. Consider licensed or certified psychologists the nation’s work horses for mental disability and SSDI and SSI.



Q. Isn’t that a pretty penny?

A. Look at it this way. Would you rather have 75% of something or 100% of nothing? Need I say more.

Q. I got you, but still are there any deals out there?

Q. What about children?

A. Some people just don’t give up. Huh?

Q. Not that so much but...

A. Well, there’s Community Legal Services. They’ll only work with the poor such as SSI. Legal Aid Society, also non-profit, goes to bat for low income people. Then there are pro bono attorneys–those in private practice, who might do it for very needy people. But you’d really have to shake a tree to find them.