When you’re sick or injured and can no longer work, you can apply for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA), and Osterhout Berger Disability Law is a firm with attorneys who have over 50 years of experience between them. We’ve helped thousands of residents of McKean and surrounding areas get the SSA disability benefits that they needed.
Applying for SSD Benefits
Getting benefits for your disability can take the stress out of paying bills. If it’s time to start the application process, there are a few ways that you might start. Firstly, you could stay at home and go online to the SSA website. This option might be tempting because you’ll be comfortable while filling out the application. Unfortunately, this application can be long and confusing to new applicants, and you won’t be able to ask anyone questions along the way, which could compromise the thoroughness of your application. The second option is to go into the SSA office in the McKean area to fill out the application. On the surface, this option seems much better because you’ll have the SSA office workers available to answer your questions. Unfortunately, the office workers might know more about the process, but they’re not invested in seeing you get the disability benefits that you need from the SSA. That’s why you should visit us at Osterhout Berger Disability Law. We can help you with the process of filling out all of the application materials because we’re knowledgeable and have a vested interest in seeing you get the benefits that you need.
When you go through the claim process, one of the things that you’ll need to do is to compile and release your medical information to the judge so that they can make an informed decision on your case. You need to give a full list of all of the doctors that you’ve seen about your condition and all of the medical facilities you’ve visited. You also need to share how your condition affects your life and ability to work.
Some people might also have to go to a consultative exam, which is an appointment with a doctor that the SSA has chosen. During this exam, you might have to undergo another test, or you might have to simply answer some questions. The purpose of this appointment is to learn more about your condition, and you must attend one if you’re called to do it in order to remain eligible for disability benefits with the SSA.
Appealing a Denial
If your claim is denied, there might still be a way to get the disability benefits that you need. One of the first things that you should remember is that there are a couple of levels of appeal, including the Appeals Council and the federal district court. You must start with the Appeals Council, which is the only level of appeal that’s under the SSA. The federal district court is a level that only a very select number of denials reach.
When you make an appeal, you should remember that you’re usually not trying to show that you have your condition and that it poses too many obstacles to your work. Instead, you’re trying to show that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made a mistake when processing your claim. This is a point that often confuses people, but you most likely won’t need to submit new medical evidence. Instead, we might have to point out a recent federal district court ruling that also applies to your case. ALJs can sometimes miss these rulings, and it can mean that you’re falsely denied your claim.
One of the few times that you might have to submit more evidence during an appeal is if your claim was denied but the Blue Book changed. For instance, if you filled out the application and turned in all of your paperwork, but the Blue Book changed just before your hearing, you might be missing crucial evidence that wasn’t relevant when you originally put together all of your evidence.
If you’re denied at the Appeals Council level, you might still have the opportunity to make an appeal before the federal district court. While most cases don’t win at this level, you can be certain that you’ll get a fair hearing where the judge carefully looks over the facts of your case. Any time that you’re denied a claim or appeal, you have 65 days from the time that you’re denied to fill out the paperwork for the next step. If you aren’t successful at the federal district court, there are no more levels of appeal.
What We Do To Win Your Case
When you hire Osterhout Berger Disability Law, there are a number of things that you can expect from us because we want you to win your case and are willing to go the extra mile to make a positive outcome as likely as possible. Firstly, we’ll talk to you about the entire process from the beginning, and we’ll let you ask us questions whenever one arises. We communicate via email, text, traditional mail, and phone call to make things as convenient as possible. We’ll also continually communicate with you about your specific case.
Putting together the evidence for your claim is one of the most important steps, and we’ll help you figure out all of the paperwork that you have to fill out to have your medical records released to the SSA. This will help you build your case, and we’ll make sure that all of the evidence is submitted to the judge in time.
The hearing makes many people nervous, but you won’t be as uncomfortable when we tell you all of the questions that the judge is likely to ask you. We’ll also help you come up with responses that will put you in a favorable light. We’ll tell you what’s most important in your case so that you can further focus your answers to those ends. Plus, we do all questioning of expert witnesses, and we’ll communicate with the judge on your behalf so you never have to worry about misunderstanding a legal term. Finally, if we need to make an appeal, we’ll start the process as soon as we determine that this is the best next course of action for your case.
What We Need You To Do
While we do everything possible to ensure that you have a simple and smooth experience, there are some things that only you can do. For instance, you have to fill out the forms to have your medical records released to the SSA. If we don’t get that evidence in on time, it’s unlikely that your claim will be successful. This is one of the reasons why you need to return our communication quickly. We also like to touch base with our clients regularly to ensure that you know what’s going on with your case.
Secondly, we need you to continue to do your treatment plan and go to your doctor’s appointments. When you don’t take your medication, do your physical therapy, or go to an appointment that the doctor has said is in your best interest, you put your case in a negative light that could cost you your claim. Firstly, it gives off the impression that you don’t actually suffer as much from your condition as you say you do. Secondly, it’s likely to make the judge question whether or not your condition might improve if you went to your appointments and did your therapy and other prescribed activities.
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.