ATTORNEY SEAN KAVANAGH
Social Security Disability & Workers' Compensation Law
Sean Kavanagh has successfully represented thousands of clients in Social Security Disability, supplemental security income (SSI), and workers’ compensation claims. He has extensive experience handling Social Security appeals at the Federal District Court level and has argued successfully before the Virginia Court of Appeals. Mr. Kavanagh’s thorough preparation and mastery of the law is grounded in two decades of practice to assure our clients that they are receiving outstanding representation in the courtroom.
Practicing Law in Virginia for Over 20 Years
Mr. Kavanagh is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Workers’ Compensation and Social Security section. He has taught continuing legal education courses and has been invited to speak before various organizations on the subjects of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits. Mr. Kavanagh is also licensed to practice in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Active Involvement with Young People in the Local Community
Sean Kavanagh attended undergraduate school at the College of William & Mary. Mr. Kavanagh attended William and Mary on an athletic scholarship and was an NCAA Division I wrestler. He received his law degree from the University of Baltimore, where he graduated with honors in 1991.
Mr. Kavanagh, who lives in Hanover County Virginia, helps cultivate his community’s young people by coaching youth ice hockey and baseball teams. He also enjoys working in his woodshop, vegetable gardening and visits to the beach with his wife Jennifer and their two children.
Learn more about our practice and how Harbison & Kavanagh in Richmond, VA, can help you. Call (804) 888-8000 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation today.
We proudly serve the residents of Richmond, Petersburg, Charlottesville,
Williamsburg, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the surrounding areas.
I chose a career as a lawyer because it is a rewarding and honorable, profession which would allow me to really make a difference in peoples’ lives and help them through difficult times. I was exposed to Social Security Disability claims and workers’ compensation claims while clerking for a private firm during law school and have dedicated my practice to those areas ever since.
Our combined experience of having handled thousands upon thousands of these claims successfully and our reputation for being competent and prepared and having our client’s prepared for their day in court. Our client’s do not talk to their attorneys for the first time on the day of their hearing, as is common with many of our competitors. When our client’s hearing is scheduled, that client is immediately scheduled for a pre-hearing conference with his attorney. At that conference, the attorney makes final determinations regarding medical evidence (medical records and medical opinions needed for the hearing) and prepares the client for his or her hearing. Preparing the client involves giving the client an understanding of what we have to prove, what is a proper basis for disability, and what is not.
Some cases require proving your client was disabled sometime in the past. I once had a client walk into my office having been denied by Social Security with his case pending in the Federal Court, which is the last stage of the appeal process. He case was challenging because he was in his 60s and we had to prove he was disabled prior to age 22. We were able to achieve a remand of his claim and obtained medical records from the VA for treatment prior to age 22, and ultimately were successful in obtaining benefits for him on his father’s earnings record.
Difficult cases simply take longer to prepare because of the volume of medical records. All cases, whether “difficult” or “easy” require the same preparation. Through our experience, we have excellent knowledge of the law applicable to every case. Making that knowledge useful requires that we obtain all relevant medical evidence, develop the evidence in the claim, and know the medical evidence “inside and out” when we walk into court. Knowledge of the law combined with knowledge of the evidence and solid preparation is the key to success for your client.
First and foremost, I am a champion for my client and my client’s case. H&K clients always come with one goal – to WIN! Our role, once committed to that client, is to help them accomplish that goal. Our clients are typically going through one of the toughest times in their lives. Financial devastation is common. The case that our client has trusted us to handle can literally make the difference between living with a stable income or having no income at all. We don’t take that trust lightly.
Having handled so many thousands of cases, there is very little we have not seen in terms of medical conditions in the context of a disability claim. Our depth of knowledge of the law has been honed through extensive appeal experience at the Federal Court level.
The gratitude of a satisfied client.
I always tell clients that the treatment that they receive from their doctors between the time that I first meet with them and the time they go to court (which can be a short as a few month to as long as two years) may be the evidence that enables us to win their claim. Access to medical treatment is often a problem for our clients due to a lack of income. But, as a practical matter, you can’t win cases without medical treatment and diagnosis. Sometimes we can point clients in the direction of free treatment. When they do see doctors, they must be candid with the doctors about their problems. Many patients actually under report their problems and symptoms, not wanting to be perceived as a complainer. If a condition is something we want to bring up in a disability claim, you need to bring that condition up with your doctor.