Osterhout Berger Disability Law is honored to serve Clairton, Pennsylvania residents. We are a disability law firm you can trust because we have vast expertise assisting individuals with applying for and appealing Social Security disability benefits. Indeed, we have more than 50 years of expertise and can assist you with a variety of disability benefits-related services, including applying for SSA disability benefits and appealing any denials.
Applying for SSD Benefits
When you start your claim through the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are many steps that you should comply with to increase your chance of a favorable outcome. You can file a claim in several ways, too.
Our experienced attorneys can help you with every step to ensure your claim has the best chance of success. For instance, you might start the application process by filling out the paperwork at your local social security office, but you can also opt to start the process online. Alternatively, you can come to an Osterhout Berger Disability Law office, and one of our Social Security Disability Attorneys can help you with the process.
You’re not legally required to get legal advice or have an attorney representing you while you’re making a claim or appeal, but so many claims are turned down and require an appeal; we’re experienced at helping people just like you claim the social security disability benefits you deserve.
You’ll have to provide some standard information to begin your claim. This includes giving a general overview of your medical problems, such as any conditions you’ve been diagnosed with. Starting the process can be very daunting, but we can help make the entire process go more smoothly.
You’ll need to provide a comprehensive summary of your medical care, which consists of a list of your doctors and the hospitals/clinics that you usually see them at. You’ll also need to provide medical releases so that the SSA can contact your medical team directly for more information.
Additionally, you may be asked to explain how your condition impacts your daily life, including your ability to work.
Some people may be required to go to a consultative exam, this type of exam is done by a doctor chosen by the SSA. They’ll use it to find more information about your condition and how it affects you. The SSA will only ask for this exam after obtaining your current medical records.
Appealing a Denial
It is estimated that roughly 65% of claims are denied in the first instance and, therefore, would require an appeal to be approved. However, the reality is most claims don’t immediately receive approval. We’re experienced in social security disability cases; having one of our expert social security disability lawyer’s on hand can significantly increase your chances of having a successful claim.
There’s a good chance that even with expert representation, you’ll find that you have to go through the appeals process. There are two ways to appeal: The Appeals Council and The Federal Court.
Initially, you have to go through the Appeals Council. The council is the only one that’s associated with the SSA. If the Appeals Council denies you, you can take your case to the Federal Court.
It’s important to note that appealing a denial differs significantly from making a claim. When you make a claim, you go to a hearing where you testify about your condition and how it affects the way you work and live. But when you go through the appeals process, the purpose is to ascertain whether the ALJ made a mistake rather than whether or not you’re disabled.
It might seem like these things serve the same purpose, but they’re quite different. When you appeal, you’re not testifying about your medical condition, and you won’t be given a chance 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 appealing to the Appeals Council, you’ll have 65 days from the time that your claim was initially denied to make your appeal. Additionally, if you’re unsuccessful at the Appeals Council, you can take your appeal to the Federal Court. For this, you’ll also have another 65 days to appeal the denial. While it can be disheartening to have to undergo a Federal Court appeal, these appeals are taken very seriously. At Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we’re committed to helping our clients secure the social security benefits they’re entitled to, no matter what stage they come to us at.
What We Do To Win Your Case
When we take on a case, we’re committed to doing everything possible to secure a favorable outcome for you. We’ll ensure that you’re informed throughout the process because we know it can be a struggle to understand all procedures. It can be very overwhelming for you.
We can communicate in a way that is convenient for you. We can contact you by phone, email, text, and mail to send information and documents to you.
We understand that there are many stages to this process, and they can be easy to understand for professionals like us who do it all the time, but it’s confusing and nerve-wracking if you’re new to the process, so we know how to simplify it in a way that makes sense to our clients.
If you’re concerned about how you can best show your evidence to the judge, know that we’ll build your case for you. We’ll help you gather all of the evidence you need and work with you to remind you of your medical treatment plan; we’ll also check in for medical updates.
When you’re building a case based on medical evidence, all crucial evidence must be handed to the judge before the hearing. We’ll work with you to ensure that we have all necessary documents submitted to the judge with time to spare.
If you’re nervous about the hearing, know that we deal with these cases all of the time and can guide you through the process thoroughly. We can guide you through the questions you’ll likely be asked, so you have time to prepare and gain confidence before the hearing. Thereby reducing the risk of harming your claim because you were flustered by a question that you hadn’t thought about in advance.
Most importantly, we’ll represent you on the day of the hearing so you can be confident that you won’t lose your claim because you didn’t understand a piece of technical wording. We’ll also support filing an appeal for you if your original claim is unsuccessful.
What You’ll Need To Do
When you work with us, there are some things you can do to help the process run as smoothly as possible.
Firstly, you should remain accessible and keep your contact information up to date to get in touch with any queries, updates, or other necessary contacts.
You could also be hurting your health. So you must take all medications, go to all of your appointments, take any tests offered to you, and do any therapy that you’ve been told you need. It’s also advisable to comply with the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor; when you don’t comply with your treatment plan, you send a message that your condition isn’t as serious as you’re saying.
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.