Attorney for Disability Benefits

Parent Q&A

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  • Does anyone have a recommendation for a social security / disability lawyer or advocate? I am helping an out-of-state family member who is moving to CA apply for disability and for other low-income resources in CA. I am not sure what resources are available and I don't know where to start! Thank you!

    The law offices of Richard Gutstadt, 614 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610, 510-451-8370, did an absolutely great job getting me SSDI benefits. I highly recommend them. Everyone in the office is professional and caring, and they were highly effective lawyers. Give them a call!

    This might be too far for you, but we have had a great experience with Julie Fielder at Horizon Elder Law in San Ramon. (925) 244-1185 We had a very complicated situation with a older family member with mental health issues and Julie helped us immensely. I highly recommend. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Recommend a good disability lawyer?

April 2013

The Social Security Administration wants me to complete a form disclosing all my income and expenses for the last 7 years, the entire time I've been on Social Security Disability. It wants this completed in 15 days. It's too overwhelming. Can someone recommend a good disability lawyer? need good professional direction

Homeless Action Center is not just for the homeless, and they provide help and advocacy for people on Social Security Disability. They are fabulous, free, and helped me a lot when I needed it. They have offices in Berkeley and Oakland. Call and set an appointment with them. They are how to survive when you're on disability. Hope

ERISA (LTD) lawyer

April 2013

I need a lawyer that is well versed in ERISA/disability law and has dealt with large insurance companies before. I was recently denied a LTD claim from an insuracne policy supplied by my employer. I have multiple medical professionals that support my disability and they have even written letters (that are in my medical records that say as much). After waiting on a decision from the insurance company for 5 months they just let me know I was denied. I know that my next step is to appeal that decision and I know at this point that I need a lawyer to help me do that. Any recommendations for lawyers or law firms that you know that can and have taken on insurance companies would be great. . need legal help

Contact Jim Keenley at Bolt Keenley in Berkeley. Anon

The top firm in the Bay Area for this type of work is Lewis Feinberg et. al., They are located in downtown Oakland, near the 12th Street Bart station. I am familiar with several of the attorneys in this firm, which specializes in ERISA matters, and they easy to talk to, affordable, honest, and they get results. Check out their website. Albany attorney

I recommend Cassie Springer or Michelle Roberts at Springer-Sullivan & Roberts LLP. They are based in Oakland. I worked with them several years ago when I was in law school (I now practice in another area of law) and have continued to keep tabs on their careers. They are wonderful people and terrific ERISA lawyers. Contact them at, 510-922-0672 Good luck

Social Security Disability Attorney

May 2010

Can anyone recommend a lawyer to help me transition off Social Security disability benefits? I have been disabled for several years and am attempting to return to work, but while I transition, I am not able to work full time, and my job pays much less than I was able to earn before my disability. I also have significant ongoing medical expenses. The lawyers I have consulted so far only help people get benefits. I need someone who can help me get off, with minimal penalties until I\xc3\x82\xe2\x80\x99m able to work to support myself. I'm a single parent and my household depends on my income. Thanks so much. Ana

Ana, Have you tried The Hawkins Center in Richmond? It is a non-profit legal services agency, associated with Rubicon, that specializes in social security disability and SSI cases (not just getting people onto benefits, but cases like yours as well). There are 5 or 6 lawyers there, all experts in this area. 510-232-6611 anon

I would recommend against getting an attorney to help you off SSD. Talk to someone at Social Security and keep track of their name, date, and what they tell you. Track it in a notebook. If you do something based on their advice and it impacts your benefits in a way you didn't anticipate, you can appeal, armed with who told you to do what. Plus, it's free. Attorneys specialize in getting people on, and usually take a cut of the ''retro'' benefits. If you find one to help you transition off, you will be paying them yourself. I'd take the free road. If you feel you must have an attorney, check with Bay Area Legal Aid. a cheapskate

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

2003 & Earlier

Attorney to help with SSI benefits

May 2003

I believe I'm having difficulty finding a job due to my disability during this time and age. Can you recommend a good SSI lawyer that specializes in disability so that it might be possible for me to collect SSI benefits. anon

Try Nancy McCombs at 800-511-2355 or 415-678-2626. Her assistants are a little spacey, but she is a very capable lawyer who won a difficult SSI case for my mother. anon

Try the folks at Disability Rights Advovcates. Or Phyllis Olin. Her number is 526-7217. I don't know if she is still practicing, but if not, she can probably give you some referrals. Ariel

The Hawkins Center in Richmond is a non-profit that handles SSI cases, no charge or sliding scale. Don't have the number off the top of my head, but they're in the book. Good Luck! anon

Richard Gutstadt in downtown Oakland did a great job for me when I had to appeal an SSI ruling stating I shouldn't have been awarded disability in the first place (I'd had a stroke), and that I owed them the $48,000 in payments collected over 2 years. Got the ruling reversed completely. A smart guy with a sense of humor and a social conscience. (510) 451-8370 anon