When you need help filing your disability claim or appealing a denial with the Social Security Administration, contact our team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, which serves Armstrong County, PA. We have a total of 50 years of combined experience, and we’ve helped thousands of people obtain the SSA disability benefits that they need.
Applying for SSD Benefits
If you need to file a claim with the SSA for a disability that you have had or will have for a year, or if you have a certain disability that’s eligible for the Compassionate Allowance Program, there are a few ways that you can initiate the claim process. The first option is to simply go online and navigate to the SSA website, where you’ll find a form that you can fill out. The second option is to go to the SSA office near you to file. Finally, a third option is to contact us at Osterhout Berger Disability Law. People who choose to file at home like the convenience, and people who choose to file at the SSA office like that they have someone that they can ask when they aren’t sure about how to fill something out. The unique benefit of working with us is that we’re invested in helping you optimize the chances of winning your claim or appeal.
When you file a claim, there are several pieces of information that you need to share, including information about your condition that you believe makes you eligible for disability benefits. You also need to give a list of all of your doctors and facilities where you’ve gone, including hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. So that these facilities are legally allowed to release your medical records, you’ll need to fill out a form. Plus, you’ll need to provide information on how your symptoms impact your everyday life and ability to go to work.
In addition to showing that you have a certain condition and that this condition negatively impacts your ability to work, you might also be asked to go to an additional exam by a doctor chosen by the SSA. This exam is often used to help learn more about your condition and how it impacts your ability to do everyday activities, including going to work. This exam is called the consultative exam, and if you are asked to do one, you will be required to in order to have a shot at getting SSA disability benefits.
Appealing a Denial
There are times when even a well-crafted claim that meets the criteria for approval is denied. This is when you need to go through the appeals process. The most common reason that you might be denied but still be eligible for benefits is if the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made an error. There are times when a decision is made on a similar case at the federal court level, but if the ALJ doesn’t apply this decision to your similar case, they might have made a decision in error.
The first step of appealing a denial is to finish the appeals paperwork within 65 days of receiving the denial. When you go through an appeal, the first step will be to go before the Appeals Council, which is comprised of the people who will determine whether or not your case has any merit and whether the ALJ made a decision on your case in error. If you’re denied at this level, you still could have the option of going before the federal district court. While it’s rare for the federal court to overturn the decision of the Appeals Council, the federal court takes cases very seriously, so you can be certain that you’ll get a fair decision.
It’s important to understand what you’re doing at the appeals stage of a claim. Some people think that the purpose of an appeal is to put forth more evidence to show that you have a particular condition and that this condition produces symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to work, but this is a faulty assumption. When you make an appeal, you’re trying to show that an error occurred when your claim was denied. This means that you won’t be bringing forth new evidence about your condition unless it’s evidence that wasn’t submitted before because the information wasn’t relevant when you initially made your claim but is now because of a recent change in the Blue Book.
What We Do To Win Your Case
There are several steps in the process of winning your case, and we will always keep you informed by using text messages, email, letters, and phone calls so that you’re always informed about the latest in your case. We also work with you at various points to explain the process so that you never feel confused about what you can expect next. And if you ever have a question, just let us know so that we can tell you more about what’s going to happen next.
We also build your case and help you obtain the medical records that the judge needs to make a decision on your claim. We’ll ensure that all of your information is submitted before the date of the hearing so that your case has the most chances of getting approved as possible. We’ll even remind you to go to your medical appointments and continue with your medical plan.
Getting ready for such an important hearing can be very stressful, but we’ll take as much worry out of the process as possible by preparing you for the questions that the judge will likely ask you during your hearing. This way, you’ll be ready for whatever questions might arise. We’ll also represent you on the day of the hearing because it can be difficult to understand the process and all of the legal wording if you’ve never actually gone through the process. Osterhout Berger Disability Law attorneys have a full understanding of the process and have the experience to make your hearing go smoothly.
If all goes well, you’ll win your claim and get the SSA benefits that you need, but there are times when even the best-laid cases don’t turn out in the client’s favor. If this happens, we’ll discuss your options with you, and we can start the process of starting an appeal if we determine that this is the course of action that would be in your best interest.
What You’ll Need To Do
When you work with Osterhout Berger Disability Law, there are a couple of things that we’ll need you to do so that your claim or appeal process can go as smoothly as possible. Firstly, you need to continue to comply with your treatment plan and continue to go to medical appointments. When you fail to do everything that you’re supposed to do in terms of treatment, it sends the message that your condition isn’t really as bad as you say it is. You also give off the impression that it’s possible that your condition would improve were you to comply with your treatments and go to all of your appointments.
We also need you to continue to communicate with us via text message, email, phone call, and other forms of communication that we use. There are some things that only you can do, such as filling out the forms for the release of your medical records. If we can’t get a hold of you, then we can’t move forward with your case. More than likely, your hearing date could come without all of your medical information submitted to the judge in time. Communicating with us regularly will greatly reduce the likelihood that your claim won’t be filed properly.
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.