Osterhout Berger Disability Law is proud to represent people in Erie, Pennsylvania. We’re a disability law firm that you can trust because we have extensive experience in helping people through the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits and appealing denials. In fact, we have over 50 years of experience, and we can provide you with a range of services regarding disability benefits, including applying for SSA disability benefits and appealing any denials.
Applying for SSD Benefits
The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits is a lot more complex than you might realize, and even a small mistake can result in your claim being denied. When you use our services at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we can help ensure that all of the requirements have been fulfilled so that you have the best outcome possible.
One of the first things that you have to do is file your claim, which you can do in one of three ways. Choose between filing your claim online, going into your local Social Security Administration office, or coming to our office so that we can help you start the claim process. While some people might like the convenience of applying online and others might like the familiarity of going into the SSA office to start the application process in person, coming to our office provides you with the best potential for success because we can help you through the process to ensure that the SSA has everything that it needs from you. By providing the full and correct information, you greatly help your case.
You’re not legally required to use an attorney when you’re applying for benefits, but we can help you fill out paperwork and ensure that all of the documents are gathered and turned in on time. One of the first types of information that the SSA will ask you to provide a general account of your medical condition. You’ll also be asked to provide a list of all of the places that you’ve been hospitalized, all of your doctors, and all of the hospitals and clinics where you’ve seen your doctors. Filling out forms that inquire about your condition and how it impacts your daily life is also standard.
After that, you might be asked to undergo a consultive exam. While not every applicant has to undergo these exams, they’re fairly common. Typically, they’re used to further collect information if they don’t have all of the tests that they need to decide your eligibility for disability benefits.
Appealing a Denial
While we will do everything to win the claim the first time, the reality is that even with the best help, it’s possible to be denied your claim. If you went ahead and applied without our help, there’s an even greater likelihood that you will need to appeal. In fact, about 75% of all initial claims are denied.
We can help you prepare for your appeal and increase the likelihood that it will be successful. There are several steps, and the entire appeals process can be lengthy and confusing. Some of the processes that we can help you with include the administrative law judge hearing before the Appeals Council. And if you have to go before the federal court, we can help you out with that stage of the process.
There are many reasons why an initial denial might be overturned during the appeals process, but it’s important to understand what an appeal entails and what is generally excluded from the process. When you appeal, you’re not trying to show that you have a certain condition that would qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. Rather, you’re trying to show that the administrative law judge made a mistake or series of mistakes that influenced the final decision on your claim. It seems like it’s a small matter, but it makes a big difference in the way that you approach the appeal. During the claim process, you’ll give evidence for your condition. But during the appeal process, many of the specifics of your condition might never even be brought up.
There are a couple of places where you might appeal, and you’ll start with the consideration request and move to the appeal to the administrative law judge. Going to the Appeals Council, which is essentially the first and only appeals court that’s directly under the Social Security Administration, is the third step. If you’re denied at this level, we can also appeal to the federal court.
What We Do To Win Your Case
There are many steps involved in making a claim or appealing a decision, and there are reasons why you should have council throughout the process. It’s complicated, and you need someone who can make the process simple and easy to understand. That’s why take the time to stay in contact with you and explain to you every step of the process. We will communicate the status of your claim through a variety of forms of communication, including email, text, phone calls, and letters.
We’ll also work with you to build your case. Attaining all of the medical information is key to optimizing your chances of receiving a favorable outcome when we make the initial claim. We will work with you so that you fully understand what kinds of information we need and how you can attain these medical records.
We also understand that it can be nerve-wracking to think about going before a judge for a hearing. We’ll prepare you for this hearing by going through all of the questions that the judge is likely to ask you so that you have an answer already prepared.
On the day of the hearing, we’ll represent you. This can be a huge advantage because we can take care of all of the technical aspects of presenting your case, which is often confusing if you’ve never gone through this process.
Finally, if we’re unsuccessful in your claim, we’ll also start the process of making an appeal. We’ll file your appeal quickly so that we meet all of the necessary deadlines.
What You’ll Need To Do
We’re working for you throughout the entire process, but we still need to you do a few things so that the process runs as smoothly as possible and we’re able to get all of the information that we need into the appropriate places on time. One of the most important things that we need you to do is to be available and answer all phone calls, texts, emails, and other forms of communication from us promptly. We often have forms that you need to fill out so that your hospitals can release your medical information to the Social Security Administration, and having these forms in by a certain time is integral to ensuring that we meet all of the deadlines.
Additionally, following your treatment plan is essential to having a solid case. If you fail to go to your medical appointments, take your medications, or follow through on any kinds of treatments, the message that these actions send is that your condition must not be very serious. This is why we will remind you to continue to follow through on your appointments and 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.