Ms. Spencer has exclusively practiced Social Security law her entire legal career.
Being in private litigation for over 25 years, and having handled thousands of social security cases, I have a lot of knowledge as to how a case should proceed and what short of proofs will be needed to accomplish the goal of favorably adjudicating a case. I meet with staff attorneys who work for the Administrative Law Judges, to explore settlement issues such as appropriate onset dates of disability, whether a claimant meets the listings of impairments, whether there are medical opinions or objective medical testing needed. When participating in these conferences, I find ways to clarify the issues of a case. More importantly, I try to resolve these issues. At the same time, I strive to get to the truth of the matters at hand while making sure the administrative record is properly created to insure the fundamental fairness of the process for the claimant. I extensively write briefs, both at the administrative level and the Federal Court level. I represent, on average, 20 clients per month, at their Social Security Administrative hearings. For each hearing, I write a Proposed Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law. These briefs contain a detailed summary of the medical evidence in the administration file along with my legal arguments. If a claimant is denied by the Administrative Law Judge, I write an appeal to the Appeals Council. I file appeals in Federal Court, for both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, which requires extensive writing of briefs in the form of Statement of Errors, Motion for Summary Judgments, Replies to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and Objections to the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendations. I also, on occasion, write appeal briefs for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. I have several published cases.
I handle all the Federal Court appeals which require me to evaluate whether an Administrative Law Judge’s decision merits appeal to the Federal Courts. I meticulously review hundreds of administrative records to evaluate whether errors have been made by the Administrative Law Judge in denying a Social Security disability claim. I identify the appealable issues based on the medical issues, current laws and procedural issues. I outline the appealable issues while weighing the likelihood of success of an appeal to Federal Court. After my thorough evaluation, I decide whether I will start a civil action in Federal District Court.
I regular teach seminars and believe that in order to be able to teach a subject, you must know it cold which means not only intensely studying the subject matter but regularly being in court to “practice what you teach”. What makes me unique is that I am one of the few attorneys that handle cases from the initial application to the Federal Court of Appeals. I have several published Federal Court cases and author a daily blog and Facebook that talks about new and pressing Social Security issues to keep people abreast of any and all Social Security topics. I have represented thousands of claimants in Social Security cases during the course of my professional career as I have exclusively practiced Social Security Disability and SSI law since 1990 and maintain an active Social Security caseload. I am currently a board member for the State Bar of Michigan Social Security Section. My goal is to help educate case managers and social workers so they can prepare for the difficult process of qualifying for benefits.
36 years, 300 cases
|MI||Active And In Good Standing||1990||07/31/2022|
|Award name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Outstanding Leadership||State Bar of Michigan||2005|
|Attorney||The Law Center for Social Secuirty Rights||1990 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|State Bar of Michigan, Social Security Lawyers Section||Secretary||2018 - Present|
|National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives||Member||1990 - Present|
|State Bar of Michigan, Social Security Lawyers Section||Chair||2004 - 2005|
|State Bar of Michigan, Social Security Lawyers Section||Vice Chair||2002 - 2003|
|State Bar of Michigan, Social Security Lawyers Section||Tresurer||2001 - 2002|
|Advising the Older Client or Client with a Disability, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Michigan||Social Security and Supplemental Security Income||2018|
|Ms. Spencer received her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Michigan State University and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.||N/A|
|Advanced Seminar on Social Security Law||Security Disability Law||2018|
|Harrison v. Commissioner, United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (published decision).||The ALJ did not give good reasons for discounting the opinions of the treating doctors.|
|Seay v. Commissioner (published decision). United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.||The ALJ relied on flawed vocational testimony to the extent that it was based on the assumption that Seay had transferable skills acquired from his past jobs.|
|Meurer v. Commissioner (published decision).United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Case No. 12-cv-12506.||The Sixth Circuit rejected the proposition that all afflictions must be spelled out but the hypothetical question should include an accurate portrayal of a claimant's individual physical and mental impairments.|
|Warner v. Commissioner (published decision). : United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.||As long as substantial evidence supports a decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying benefits, the Court of Appeals must defer to it, even if there is substantial evidence in the record that would have supported an opposite conclusion.|
|Jemison v. Chater, 114 F. 3rd 1187 (6th Cir. May 1997) (published case)||A reversal of the U.S. District Court refusal to address the unjust conclusions of the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) who based his decision, in part, on an erroneous factual predicate.|
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