When you’re trying to find the right people to work with for your Social Security disability claim, talk to us at Osterhout Berger Disability Law. We’re a law firm that truly cares about your needs and takes pride in the clients that we represent in the Allentown, PA area.
Applying for SSD Benefits
When you’re applying for benefits through the Social Security Administration, there are a lot of steps that you have to comply with in order to have the best chance of getting a favorable response. You can start the process in several ways, too. For instance, you might decide to start filling out the claim by going into your local Social Security Administration office, but you might also choose to start the process online. Otherwise, you can also start by coming to Osterhout Berger Disability Law so that we can help you along with the process. You’re not legally required to have an attorney representing you while you’re making a claim or an appeal, but there are so many people who don’t receive benefits when they make a claim, and it can be very beneficial to receive help from one of our experienced lawyers.
Starting the process of making a claim can be daunting, but we can make the entire process go that much more smoothly. There are some general pieces of information and forms that you’ll have to provide to get your claim started. For instance, you’ll need to start by giving a general overview of your medical problems, and you’ll need to provide a list of all of your doctors, including which hospital or clinic that you saw them at. You’ll also need to provide medical releases and a listing of the ways that your condition affects your life and ability to do your job.
Some people will also be required to go to a consultative exam. This type of exam is done by a doctor chosen by the Social Security Administration, and they’ll use it to find out more information about your condition and how you’re affected by it. The Social Security Administration will only ask for this exam after they’ve obtained all of your existing medical records.
Appealing a Denial
While having an expert disability claim attorney from Osterhout Berger Disability Law can greatly increase your chances of having a successful claim, the reality is that most claims don’t immediately end successfully. There’s a good chance that even with expert representation, you might find that you still have to go through with an appeals process. There are two ways that you might get an appeal: the Appeals Council and the federal court.
You have to go through the Appeals Council first. This council is the only one that’s associated with the Social Security Administration. The second place that you would make an appeal, assuming that you were denied with the Appeals Council, would be the federal court.
You should understand that appealing a denial is very different than making a claim. When you make a claim, you go to a hearing where you testify as to your condition and how your condition affects your ability to live and work. But when you go through the appeals process, the purpose is to determine whether or not the ALJ made a mistake rather than whether or not you’re disabled. It might seem like these things are the same, but they’re actually quite different. Namely, when you make an appeal, you won’t be testifying about your condition, and you won’t have the opportunity to talk about how your condition has worsened. The only time that you might have the opportunity to talk about your condition is if there’s a new piece of information that wasn’t available at the time of your claim hearing.
When you’re making an appeal to the Appeals Council, you have 65 days from the time that your claim was initially denied in order to make your appeal. Additionally, if you’re unsuccessful at the Appeals Council, the next step will be to take your appeal to the federal court. For this, too, you’ll have another 65 days to appeal the denial. While it can be discouraging to undergo a denial at the Appeals Council, the federal court still offers hope because they take these appeals seriously, and we at Osterhout Berger Disability Law shine at helping our clients at this stage.
What We Do To Win Your Case
When we take on a case, we’re committed to seeing it through until the end, and we do everything in our power to get you a favorable outcome. We’ll make sure that you’re informed throughout the entire process because we know that it can be a struggle to understand all of the processes, and there could be a lot of information coming your way that you’ll want to hear from us. There are several ways that we communicate with our clients, and we can tailor our communication approach to your needs. We use phone calls, email, text, and paper mail to send information and documents to you.
We also make sure that you’re always available to explain the process to you, especially if we know that something about the process might be confusing. We understand that there are a lot of stages that are easy to understand if you do it all the time like us, but they can be nerve-wracking and confusing if you’re new to the process, so we know how to explain things to our clients in a way that will make sense.
If you’re concerned about how you can best show your case to the judge, know that we’ll build your case for you. We’ll help you gather all of the medical evidence that you need. Plus, we’ll work with you to remind you of your medical treatment plan, and we’ll check in for medical updates.
When you’re building a case based on medical evidence, it’s also imperative that all of the medical records are handed into the judge before the hearing. We’ll work with you to ensure that we have all of the necessary documents submitted to the judge well in time for the hearing. Because every piece of your medical history is important, we’ll also work with you to remind you to follow your treatment plan as described by your primary physician.
If you’re nervous about the hearing, know that many people are like you, and we’ll take you through the process thoroughly, asking you every question that you’re likely to receive well in advance so that you can be more comfortable throughout the hearing and know that you’re not going to lose the claim because you were flustered by a question that you hadn’t thought about before.
Finally, we’ll represent you on the day of the hearing so that you can be certain that you won’t miss out on a successful claim because you didn’t understand a piece of technical wording. Plus, we’ll quickly file the appeal if you’re unsuccessful with your original claim.
What You’ll Need To Do
When you work with us, there are a few things that we need to do in order to help the process run as smoothly as possible. Firstly, we need you to remain accessible so that we can contact you about any questions that we have and anything that we need you to sign. We ask that you answer calls promptly so that we can get information in on time.
We also insist that you comply with the treatment plan that’s been prescribed to you by your doctors. When you don’t comply with your treatment plan, you send the message that your condition isn’t as serious as you might feel that it is. You also could be hurting your health. This means that you need to take all medications, go to all appointments, take any tests that you’re asked to, and do any therapy that you’ve been told that you need.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.