Background Information about Kathleen Holt
I only practice Social Security disability law. I have had my own
private practice for approximately eight years and have successfully represented hundreds of clients before the Social Security
Administration, the U. S. District Court, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in obtaining disability benefits. Prior
to starting my own practice, I was a lawyer for the Social Security Administration for four years as an Assistant Regional
Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel for Social Security in Seattle and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney
for the Social Security Administration. During that time, I defended the agency’s decisions to deny claimants
their disability benefits.
It was an education for me to work for Social Security and learn the process
by which claimants were denied disability benefits. It is infinitely more rewarding to me, personally, to use that knowledge
to help my clients to obtain their rightful benefits.
I grew up in New England and obtained my undergraduate degree from a small
Vermont college. My first job was in hospital administration. I then spent five years working with CIGNA Insurance
Company to establish health care organizations and I also obtained my M.B.A. in Health Care Management. In 1988, I moved
to Seattle to work in hospital administration for Northwest Hospital and attended law school at the University of Puget Sound,
planning to practice health law. After obtaining my law degree, I went to work for the Department of Health and Human
Services. At that time, the Social Security Administration was still a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
After working on Social Security disability cases, I realized that this was my true area of interest and I worked primarily
defending disability denials for the Social Security Administration in federal district court and the 9th Circuit court of
I have two children, both born while I was working for Social Security.
My youngest child was born with a rare chromosome disorder and he is severely disabled. After Jim’s birth, I realized
that I was meant to help people who are disabled, rather than defend the Social Security decisions to deny them benefits.
My journey in private practice for the past eight years has been a gift, for I have met the most extraordinary people of courage
and strength, despite (or perhaps because of) their disabilities.
I believe that my unique knowledge of health care and health care systems,
my experience with the Social Security Administration and its laws, and my reality of living with a person who has disabilities
have all helped me to be a better attorney for my clients that I have the privilege of representing.