Meet Our Social Security Legal Team
Social Security Disability
The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has helped thousands of injured North Carolinians with potential claims including Social Security, auto accidents, workers’ Compensation, personal injury and product liability. In particularly complicated cases like car and work injuries, or any situation that leaves a person permanently disabled, it’s not uncommon for us to coordinate and represent all of them.
We take pride in representing each and every client, particularly in light of North Carolina’s excessive Social Security Disability hearing wait times and long history of case denials. With an average hearing wait time of over 21 months, North Carolina Disability offices have some of the longest wait times in the country. As if waiting all that time isn’t bad enough, once claimants finally get an initial hearing, more than two-thirds are denied. And more than 85% of those filing a second time are denied!
That doesn’t stop us from persevering to try to get our clients what they may deserve in our efforts to help ease their financial burdens.
Nearly every person on our team has prior Social Security Disability experience from having worked inside the Social Security Administration.
We know from firsthand inside experience how the system works, what they look for to accept a claim, the importance of filing the correct forms and meeting strict deadlines, and what medical records to present.
Meet Our Social Security Disability Team
Attorney Fleming is a firm shareholder and head of our Social Security Disability department. He is a NC State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability law – a claim only 47 out of the more than 28,000 North Carolina licensed attorneys can make.3 Mr. Fleming is fluent in Spanish and takes pride in representing North Carolina’s Hispanic/Latino community – a culture he admires. He is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. district courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. As chair of the N.C. State Bar’s Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee and an active member of many other advocacy organizations, Mr. Fleming is a tireless advocate for our clients and others outside our offices whose voices may otherwise go unheard.
Before coming to the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Mr. Midkiff spent six years as a Disability Determination Services examiner for the Social Security Administration, rising to Level II. As a Level II examiner, Midkiff not only determined the merits of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) initial applications, but was also active in the reconsideration process and conducting continuing disability reviews. As a paralegal who works directly with our Social Security Disability clients, he is now using his prior knowledge to try to help clients get the benefits they may deserve.
“Our attorneys and our entire Social Security Disability team in general have a lot of experience not only in the legal arena but within Social Security itself. Most of the folks we deal with are hardworking people whether from an illness or injury, can’t work anymore, and just don’t know how to advocate for themselves. What layperson would? The system is very complicated and cumbersome and you need experienced people to advocate on your behalf. I know. I’ve been on the other side.”
Ms. Casey has worked exclusively as a Social Security Disability paralegal for nearly 20 years. Prior to that she was a Social Security Disability Determination Services Examiner. Part of that time was spent as a Single Decision Maker Examiner – the person who has the authority to make medical determinations on certain cases without the review or signature of a medical consultant, such as a doctor.
After seeing the bureaucracy involved in making some disability determinations, she decided her knowledge and skills would better serve those seeking Social Security Disability benefits on the other side as a legal representative.
“I felt that the focus at Disability Determination Services was too numbers driven and it seemed more important to the Social Security Administration to make quick determinations – sometimes without having all the facts. As an experienced paralegal, I try to make sure that we provide as detailed information as possible on behalf of our clients, so the determiners can do the best job possible processing their claims.”
Ms. Casey finds that many formerly hopeless clients regain encouragement once she explains to them what the process entails and reassures them that they have the Farrin Social Security Disability team trying to do everything they can to try to make their claim successful.
Ms. Casey holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Wendie Roberts worked as a Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiner for five years until she became disenchanted with its inherent bureaucracy. She left DDS to work, first as an insurance adjuster, and later as a paralegal in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability. She has been a paralegal for over 15 years leveraging her unique experience as a DDS examiner and a paralegal to assist claimants in building their cases to try to get the benefits they may be entitled to. She takes pride in getting to know her clients and giving them her best.
“Having worked for Social Security and for insurance companies, I know how hard it can be and how long it can take for many well-deserving people to try to get benefits. I use my experience as a former SSD “insider” to try to build cases so our clients are presented to SSD in the most favorable light.”
Wendie holds two BA’s from North Carolina Wesleyan College – one in Justice & Public Policy and another in Psychology. She is also a Notary Public in the state of NC.
3 North Carolina State Bar, December 2016