At Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we’re committed to providing the best quality of representation to our clients in Cambria County, PA. Between our attorneys, we have a combined experience of over 50 years, and we’ve helped thousands of clients win their disability claims with the Social Security Administration, so we have the experience to help you.
Applying for SSD Benefits
When you’re interested in filing a claim for disability benefits with the SSA, you can start the process one of three ways. The first option is to go online and file it at home, which is what some people who want to do it quickly from the comfort of their home choose. Another option is to go to the Social Security Administration office in your area so that an office worker can answer your questions. A third option is to come to Osterhout Berger Disability Law so that we can help you through the process. This third option is great for people who want to maximize the likelihood of getting their claim accepted. We have the experience to ensure that all of the correct paperwork is filled out correctly, thoroughly, and on time. We also have the will to see our clients succeed.
When you file your claim for the first time, there are several pieces of information that you’ll need to provide. Firstly, you’ll have to give an account of your condition and how it impacts your life, including everyday activities and your ability to do your job. You might go into some of the specific job tasks that you have to do at work and what your condition causes that makes it impossible or at least very difficult to go to work. You’ll also need to give a full listing of all of the hospitals and clinics that you’ve gone to for diagnosis and treatment of your condition, and you’ll need to give an account of all of the doctors that you’ve seen.
Additionally, some people will be asked to go to a consultative exam, which is an appointment with a doctor that the SSA chooses. If you are asked to go, you must attend in order to retain the possibility of receiving disability benefits. The purpose of this exam is to obtain more information about your condition and how it affects your life. During this process, you might be asked more questions, and you might have to do more tests.
Appealing a Denial
When your claim doesn’t go as planned, it might be in your best interest to start an appeals process. An appeal must be filed within 65 days of receiving a denial of your claim, and there are a couple of different levels that you can make your appeal at, but you have to start at the Appeals Council, which is the level of appeal that’s under the Social Security Administration. If you’re denied at this level, you have to move on to the federal district court for the next appeal. Only some claims that are denied at the Appeals Council level are allowed to move onto the federal district court level of appeals, and only a small percentage of cases that make it to the federal district court is successful, but the federal court takes cases seriously, so you can be sure that your claim will get the attention that it deserves if it goes that far.
You should know that there’s a difference between giving your evidence at your hearing for your claim and giving evidence for your appeal. Most people don’t understand this at the outset of making a claim. When you make an appeal, your goal isn’t to show that you have a particular condition and that it affects your everyday life, including your ability to go to work. Instead, the goal during an appeal is to show that the ALJ made a mistake when they chose to deny your claim request. This means that you won’t actually give more evidence for the existence of your condition and the role that it plays in your regular life. Instead, you and one of our attorneys will likely focus on a recent change in the way that your type of condition is understood by the Social Security Administration. The only reason that you might submit new evidence about your condition is if the criterion recently changed and the information hadn’t been submitted before because it wasn’t relevant at the time that you initially made your claim.
What We Do To Win Your Case
Filing a claim or making an appeal for Social Security disability benefits has several steps, and the process can sometimes be confusing if you’ve never been through it. That’s why we’ll take the time to provide you with the information that you need to make informed decisions. We’ll also work with you to understand the process every step of the way. And if you’re ever confused or want some clarification on something, you can feel free to ask us. We’re available to answer your questions about the overall process and your particular claim.
We also work with our clients to build their claims. When you come to Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we can help you build your case by helping you obtain your medical evidence. We ensure that all evidence is submitted to the judge by the necessary date. Plus, we’ll remind you to continue with your treatment plan and scheduled doctor appointments so that you don’t lose your case because of non-compliance with your doctor’s medical advice.
Preparing you for the hearing is important to us, and we’ll thoroughly run through all of the questions that the judge is likely to ask you so that you have an answer ready. We’ll also represent you on the day of the hearing so that you don’t have to be intimidated by legal jargon or a process that you don’t fully understand.
Finally, sometimes even the best laid out cases don’t have a favorable outcome for the client. That’s why we’ll work with you to determine the best course of action if you’re denied. Then, we’ll start the appeals paperwork right away if it’s in your best interest.
What You’ll Need To Do
When you’re going through the claim or appeal process, there are a few things that we need you to do, including staying in touch with us. We’ll regularly communicate with you via text message, letter, email, and phone call, but if you don’t respond, there could be some troubles with your case. While we try to do everything that we can to make the process simple, there are some things that only you can do, and we also want to ensure that you always know what’s going on with your case. That’s why we regularly contact you, but we might need you to fill out paperwork, so you should give us a call back.
We also need you to continue with your treatment plan and continue to go to your medical appointments. While we’ll remind you to continue with what doctors tell you, we need you to take responsibility, too. Failing to do all of your medical treatments or go to all of your appointments sends the message that your condition isn’t that serious. It also sends the message that your condition might improve if you were to follow your treatment plan.
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.