Attorney Robert L. Heller
Robert L. Heller has devoted his entire multi-decades legal career to helping disabled people in the Mahoning Valley receive needed benefits.
A native of Warren, Atty. Heller knew from an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer. His uncle, Robert N. Heller, was a well-known attorney in the area—and a role model for his nephew.
Atty. Heller graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren and then went on to Miami University of Ohio, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1975. He spent a year in a master’s program studying public administration at American University in Washington, D.C., before enrolling at the University of Toledo College of Law.
While in law school, Atty. Heller took part in a legal clinic where he handled Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income cases on behalf of clients with mental health issues.That experience had a profound impact on him and convinced him that he wanted to concentrate his legal career on helping people receive Social Security disability benefits.
After receiving his J.D. in 1981, Heller joined a firm where he immediately focused his practice on Social Security disability and workers’ compensation cases. He and a colleague at that firm, Steven Maas, left after two years to launch the firm that would become Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill.
The creation of the firm coincided with the beginning of the decline of the steel industry in the Mahoning Valley, and the services the firm provided to workers who lost their jobs and needed help were critical to thousands of families.
Heller handles every aspect of Social Security disability cases, from initial intake to resolution. Oftentimes, these cases can linger for long periods of time—a situation made worse by declining services at local Social Security offices. Knowing how frustrating the process can be, Robert makes it a point to be as caring as possible to his clients.
In describing the skills that he has found to be necessary for being a good SSDI/SSI lawyer, he says, “You have to be honest, you have to be a good listener, you have to be compassionate. You have to be willing to help people and not make any value judgments about them.”
He also pledges to be as responsive as possible when his clients have questions. In many situations, they need short-term help to address medical issues or other problems, and the firm is able to provide information about where they can go for assistance.
“If you call today and we can’t back to you before we close, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours,” he says.
Heller’s commitment to working people in the Mahoning Valley has extended beyond his own legal practice. He has served on the boards of the Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland and the Fairhaven School and Workshop, which provides educational services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
He is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) and the Trumbull County Bar Association.