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SSA ALJ Hearings During Covid

Since March of 2020, SSA has been conducting Administrative Law Judge hearings by telephone. Our firm has been successful with this new format and we find that it actually offers many benefits to claimants! At first, many of our clients were hesitant that the Judge wouldn't "see" them.  "I know folks are concerned about a Judge denying them easier with a phone hearing.  I have not noticed any difference in outcomes between in-person and phone hearings.  A plus that I have found is that clients don’t have the stress or expense of physically getting to a hearing office." explains OBL...

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Panic Disorder Can Be Disabling!

People with Panic Disorder can have episodes of intense fear that isn’t caused by an outside environmental factor that it would be reasonable to fear. Panic attacks can last for several minutes or longer, and they can make going to work and doing a job well all the more difficult or maybe even impossible. Anyone who thinks that they have a panic disorder should learn about the condition, how it’s treated, and ways that they can receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Panic disorders are covered in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book under the listing of Anxiety Disorders....

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Karl Osterhout Presents Webinar for OBL FDC Referral Partners

We value working with skilled disability representatives from across the country to appeal cases in federal court. In doing so, we have a unique perspective and want to share the trends we see with our referral partners on a regular basis. Karl Osterhout most recently accomplished this by providing a webinar titled "The Treating Physician Rule is NOT Dead" to representatives who refer cases to us. This presentation gave simple suggestions for documenting evidence to fulfill the requirements of consistency and supportability in the new evidence rules based on the success our firm has seen at the federal court level. We...

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OBL Supports Operation Safety Net

OBL Partner Lindsay Osterhout (with some help) put together 100 hygiene kits and dropped them off at Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net program today! The kits include needed items such as socks, hand warmers, chapstick, deodorant, toothpaste, soap and other personal products for men and women. Operation Safety Net offers services that help people and empower them to improve their quality of life. They also strive to address the circumstances that undermine mental, physical, and emotional well-being. OBL fully supports its mission as many of our clients through the years have benefited from its services. It is our hope that other...

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Lindsay Osterhout is a Resource for Community Leaders!

If you regularly work with individuals who may have physical or mental impairments that keep them from being able to work full time, please remember that Lindsay Osterhout at Osterhout Berger Disability Law is here to help you! Whether you refer the individual to us for assistance with their disability claim, or you just have a few questions about the process, please keep Lindsay's contact information handy! Also, remember if your team needs training, Lindsay frequently provides in-person or zoom training to case managers, therapists and other community leaders. Email Lindsay at [email protected] or call her at 412-794-8506 x 402 [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ews3Tq-XLn8[/embed]...

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A Message from Karl Osterhout About Food Waste and 412 Food Rescue

I know that we here at OBL talk a lot about 412 Food Rescue, but it's really just because there is so much to talk about! So much food waste (amazing amounts wasted!) even while so many folks face a constant (and often losing) battle to feed themselves and their kids! But Leah Lizarondo and her amazing team, often called the "Uber for food recovery," has an amazing web platform and community-based system which makes it incredibly easy to help, using their "Food Heroes" app! Not only have they already helped redirect over 9 million meals from over 2300 food...

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Advice to Our Clients Applying for Disability from OBL Paralegal, Tracy Riggins

"Tracy the Paralegal that I worked with was incredible, and very attentive and responsive to all of my requests and many phone calls and questions. She is AWESOME." - M.E. "Tracy is one of the paralegals that was with me from the beginning to the end. She was full of vital information pertaining to my case and would return my calls and emails right away. Tracy was courteous and professional even when I was frustrated at times." - R.B Our clients are consistently happy with the service they receive from our paralegal extraordinaire, Tracy Riggins, and for good reason...

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Announcement: Shay Guess Joins the OBL Team!

  Osterhout Berger Disability Law is expanding! We are thrilled to announce that Shay Guess, an experienced and skilled representative based in northern Mississippi, has joined the OBL team. Shay has 8 years of experience in Social Security disability applications, appeals, and ALJ hearing representation. He passed the difficult EDPNA national exam administered by the Social Security Administration in 2015 demonstrating professionalism and competence. OBL Managing Partner, Karl Osterhout, met Shay years ago at a conference held by the National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR) and shares his excitement: “I am deeply impressed with Shay both as a person and as a...

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Success Story: A Fantastic Win For Our FDC Team!

We write a lot about the challenges of getting Social Security disability benefits, but sometimes keeping the benefits can be just as difficult! There are many complicated medical and vocational issues that Social Security analyzes when reviewing whether a beneficiary can continue to receive their disability benefits. Sometimes during this “Continuing Disability Review,” or “CDR,” technical errors occur or claimants are denied due process. When a claimant receives a Notice of Termination they have the right to appeal and, just like when initially applying for benefits, a CDR case that gets denied by an ALJ can be appealed to the...

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Lindsay Osterhout’s Technical Expertise Results in Another Case Win!

[caption id="attachment_3882" align="alignleft" width="220"] Lindsay Osterhout, OBL Partner, Administrative Division[/caption] When applying for Social Security disability benefits, many underestimate the importance of knowing Social Security regulations and policy. Lindsay Osterhout recently worked on a case that had been denied at the application and reconsideration levels. The claimant’s impairment was a primary type of cancer. The initial cancer occurred while the claimant was still insured for Social Security Disability. Shockingly, SSA denied the claim, IMPROPERLY labeling it secondary cancer. With that misclassification, SSA IMPROPERLY found that the claimant did not meet the cancer listing.  Upon Lindsay pointing out the misclassification by DDS, it...

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