Ledgerwood Law Group congratulates Senior Paralegal, Christina Miller, on her passing of the EDPNA test
Posted on Jul 01, 2016
Once a year, an elite group of professionals from across this great country convene in a centralized location chosen by the Feds to take a grueling, bar exam like test. When they lead the approximately 150 exam takers into the test chamber, they do just about everything short of a body cavity search before they are allowed to start. It is the type of exam that when the participants are seated, after about 10 minutes, three or four people invariably stand up, burst into years, and flee the room.
This year, the test was held in Baltimore, the hub of the Social Security Administration Appeals Council. LLG flew uber paralegal, Christina Miller, with her husband, Loren, “The Big Guy” (as her personal bodyguard and one man support team-this was Baltimore, after all) to take this test. People who pass eventually become Accredited Disability Representatives (EDPNAs) and earn the right to independently represent Claimants in their Social Security cases before the SSA.
To be eligible to take the test, you must have your Bachelors degree or equivalent, “relevant work experience” and pass a serious background check via the FBI.
Christina has passionately written case-winning hearing briefs for this office for over a decade. The truth is, with her fine prep work, we have usually won the case before I set foot in court.
To prepare for this test, Christina studied for one solid year, up to two days a week. She had to pick apart the relevant sections of the Code of Federal Regulations and develop a good knowledge and understanding of the entire Social Security act. I hear that she “drove Loren insane with flash cards.” This was one lady who was going to pass this test! The passing score was a 70%; she got an 84%.
Christina was born and raised in Northern California. She studied Communication and Rhetoric, as well as Legal Studies, at the University of San Francisco. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in 2004. During her tenure at the University, she was honored by being selected as a Davies Scholar and was a founding member of the debate team.
I have always felt blessed when someone special falls into my life. Christina is one such person. I met Christina through her uncle and my close farmer friend “Dave-Baby” Chaidez. She was hired on as a clerk in 2004. During the last 12 years, we have lived through a lot together: the “2004 Comp. Apocalypse” (SB-899) and the emasculation of the WCAB’s ability to help injured workers get needed medical treatment in 2012 (SB-863). In 2006, there were about 13 people working for LLG. After the Governator was through with us, by 2009, it was just Christina and I in this 5,000 square foot building here in Chico. You could have shot a gun through the office and not hit anyone. But hey, we are still here, and this little firm is growing.
Life has changed a lot for the both of us and now Christina works primarily out of her home office so she can be a dedicated mother and a professional…two titles she was unwilling to give up. It means a lot of very long days, and sometimes even long nights, but she does both with a smile. In the midst of all this, she co-authorized the Social Security Disability Survival Manual, our latest book, with me. This woman truly loves what she does.
With that said, one of the big pushes we have been making is expanding our Social Security Disability practice. Contrary to popular belief, getting this benefit is like pulling teeth. You have to have your I’s dotted, your t’s crossed, a boat load of medical evidence, a serious amount of research in hand, and a reasonable judge to get a client qualified. It is wonderful complementary practice, as we have been able to help many folks that the comp system previously short-changed get qualified for much superior benefit that includes Medicare coverage down the road.
I love that feeling that you get when you are simply just happy inside for the accomplishments of another person. I am having such a day today.