Pond Lehocky Giordano attorneys Kajal Alemo and Melissa R. Chandy hosted the firms first all-female led Facebook Live Q&A where viewers asked questions about how the hearing process has changed during the coronavirus pandemic for workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases.
The entire conversation can be viewed online here: https://www.facebook.com/145560102146248/videos/304908874016175/
Throughout the pandemic, workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases have been held via tele- and web-conferencing. During the 30-minute livestream, Alemo and Chandy discussed what clients can expect from these virtual hearings.
“I always say you can’t go wrong if you’re telling the truth,” Alemo said. “The Social Security disability program specifically is meant for individuals who have who are unable to work because of their conditions. It’s what you’re going through every day. That is all the judge really needs at the hearing is something beyond the medical record, to just get to know you on a personal level. And then at the hearing, obviously, you’ll have an attorney to guide you throughout.”
A large component of both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases is medical records. “It’s interesting to see how COVID impacted the legal field but also impacted the medical field with telemedicine appointments and those sorts of things to get our clients through this period of time when you can’t be in person with your doctor,” Chandy said. “You have telemedicine visits to touch base and to go over your conditions with your doctor, however a lot of doctors’ offices are unable to release records a timely way due to the pandemic. They’re either closed or incredibly backed up or understaffed. The good news is that judges have been incredibly lenient during this time about providing 30 days and more if necessary, to hold the record open after the hearing to obtain the records.”
Alemo is a member of both the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice, where she serves on the Social Security Executive Council. A graduate of Villanova University School of Law, Ms. Alemo was the Villanova Law student director of Face to Face Legal Clinic for the Pro Bono Society. Prior to law school, Ms. Alemo obtained a B.A. in Psychology from George Washington University, graduating in 2008 on the Dean’s List. Alemo has been recognized by The Legal Intelligencer for her pro bono work. She has also been recognized by the Philadelphia Bar Association for outstanding work in public service and is a recipient of the Dorothy Day Public Service Award. In 2016, she was selected as a Top Woman in Law by The Legal Intelligencer’s editorial staff and invited to participate in the Women in the Profession Roundtable that year. She was later invited to moderate roundtable discussions on the topic Breaking into the Boys’ Club at the 2018 Women in Law and Leadership Summit hosted by CenterForce.
Chandy is a Senior Associate with Pond Lehocky and has focused her practice exclusively on Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law since graduating from Penn State – Dickinson School of Law. Chandy was born and raised in Canada where she attended the University of Toronto and was accepted into a highly competitive Specialist Program in Commerce and Finance. She manages the brief writing department in the law firm. In this role, Chandy uses her knowledge to train and teach new associates the nuances of the brief writing processes, to ensure that from start to finish, Pond Lehocky cases are passionately and articulately argued. Chandy also plays an active role in Pond Lehocky’s Summer Associate and Clerkship Program. Chandy is a certified specialist in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the PA Supreme Court. She was also elected to the Pennsylvania Association of Justice’s Board of Governors and is also an active member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association. Additionally, Chandy has been chosen to the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list.