I can't recommend Attorney Richard Grabow highly enough! I finally have federal disability support (SSDI) because I contracted with him. I would not have been able to successfully navigate the disability appeals process without him and his assistant Melissa. It was very difficult to find someone to take my case, as I am considered very young for disability and because (as Attorney Grabow explained) the system is not really set up to assess people with my many complex, chronic conditions. After a lot of hard work and an extremely long time of searching, I found two others willing to take my case, but after in-person consults, it was no contest that I wanted to go with Grabow. He was obviously very busy so he had to be very direct and to the point about everything, but I appreciate the efficiency and candor. He looked at my work history and medical summary, and he laid out the difficulties of my application but the reasons why I could (and obviously should) qualify. He also explained more of an inside perspective on how the system works, expected wait times, etc. The other folks I considered hiring did not seem nearly as competent nor were they as thorough or candid about things.
Basically, how the office functions is that most communications are with his assistant Melissa and Richard directly communicates when needed. Melissa is friendly, helpful, and has more time for answering questions. Richard is understandably more rushed and some might perceive him as a bit gruff, but again, the efficiency, directness and high level of competence is what I prefer. (And, what works!)
For anyone starting the disability process, some other helpful info:
-Grabow operates on a common disability attorney method where you can contract with him and he does not receive payment unless you win your case. If you win, he is automatically paid a % from your backpay, with a cap. This was a godsend for me as, of course, I was destitute by the time I found him.
-Contracting with a lawyer is extremely important and helpful, but you still have to stay on top of everything that you can yourself. For example, I always take notes, and Grabow mentioned a certain type of paperwork early in the process. I brought it up with him further into the process ("I have X in my notes. Should we be doing that soon?") and his take seemed to be, "We don't need that right now. Let's not do work until we need to do work and have everything as current as possible." Luckily, I pressed him on it to give it to me the forms to get to my doctor...and then, surprisingly, my case processing got pushed up EARLIER than expected, we did need that paperwork, and we had it in the nick of time. All this is to say, I don't think I would have been approved without his work on my case, but you still need to be engaged in the process.
In sum, I am extremely glad and grateful that I used Richard and Melissa!! I was disabled for 10 years without support, and I am finally in the next chapter of my life because of their help. I can't thank them enough!!!