Getting your disability claim with the Social Security Administration is important, but unfortunately, most claims are denied on their first attempts. At Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we help people throughout the entire claim and appeal process, and we can offer a much higher chance of success because we know every step of the way. In fact, we have over 50 years of experience, and we’ve helped more than 30,000 people get their Social Security Disability benefits.
Applying for SSD Benefits
There are a few ways that you can start the claim process with the SSA. The first way is to make the claim online, which is an option that many people choose because it’s convenient. Some people still like to go into a physical office to fill out paperwork, and you can go to your local Social Security Administration office. A third option is to talk to Osterhout Berger Disability Law. We’ll walk you through the entire process and make it as simple and easy to understand as possible.
You’re not legally required to use any kind of attorney when you apply for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration, and it’s even possible to win your claim without legal help. Unfortunately, it’s also a lot more common to lose your claim, even if you have a qualifying medical condition, but we can help. When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, there will be a lot of steps that you’ll have to go through to qualify for benefits, and meeting all of these criteria can be confusing and intimidating. We’ll explain all of the details to you so that you can feel completely comfortable throughout the entire process.
You should be aware that you’ll have to send in a lot of medical information, including the names of your doctors and the facilities where they practice. Additionally, if you’ve been admitted to another hospital where one of your primary doctors doesn’t work, you’ll need to provide the name of that hospital, too. Throughout the process, filling out a form that asks about your condition and how it affects your ability to work and live is also standard.
You should also be aware that some people have to undergo a consultative exam. While many applicants are not asked to complete this exam, if you are asked to do it, you must go to continue with your claim. A consultive exam is when you go to a doctor that the Social Security Administration chooses. This doctor might look over your case in more detail, and they might do more tests to get a clearer picture of your condition.
Appealing a Denial
Sometimes, even when we do everything that we can to file a claim properly, the claim is denied, and we have to go through an appeals process. There are four levels of appeal, and you’ll need one of our experienced attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law to help you through the process because it can be quite confusing if you don’t know what to expect.
One of the first things that you need to understand is that an appeal isn’t the same as a claim. When you make a claim, you’re trying to make a case for how you have a certain disability and how it fits in with a particular listing in the Blue Book, which is the manual that lists all of the conditions that qualify a person for disability insurance.
When you appeal a decision, you’ll first go through the consideration request, and then you’ll ask the administrative law judge to look at the case. If the appeal fails at both of these stages, you might have the opportunity to go before the Appeals Council, where they’ll consider whether or not the administrative law judge made a mistake. Some people think that the purpose of an appeal is to show that they have the condition and should receive disability insurance, but this is actually false. The appeals process is about showing that there was a mistake in the way that your claim was processed or understood, so you won’t be presenting a lot of information about your condition at the appeals stage.
If you’re further denied at the Appeals Council level, you might also have the opportunity to go before the federal court. It’s disconcerting to be denied at the level of the Appeals Council, but if you do end up going all the way to the federal court, you can feel confident that the federal court will look at the case closely. As background, though, you should know that very few cases make it anywhere near this far.
What We Do To Win Your Case
When you’re claiming a disability with the Social Security Administration, you need to have a lot of information together, and it can be confusing to understand the process. Thankfully, when you work with us at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, we’ll make sure that we explain the entire process to you in terms that make sense. We’ll communicate with you frequently about your case via text, email, phone call, and letter.
We work with you to build your case by helping you attain your medical evidence and ensuring that all of the paperwork is filed on time so that you have the optimal chance of receiving your benefits. Ensuring that your paperwork is filed on time is important, and we can make sure that the process of preparing your case is smooth.
While we might be successful with your initial claim, there are times when we’re not even though we were completely prepared. In these situations, we’ll start the appeals process for you promptly so that you can move forward as quickly as possible.
Feeling comfortable on the day of your hearing is important, and we can get you to a point where you know all of the questions that the judge is likely to ask you and how you should answer. We never want you to feel caught unaware, and so we fully prepare you for your hearing date.
We’ll also represent you during the claim hearing or appeals process because we understand how important it is to get all of the information correct, and it’s frustrating if you’ve never gone through the process of making a claim.
What You’ll Need To Do
Although we’ll do as much work for you as possible, there are some things that only you can do. That’s why we need you to remain accessible and responsive to our communication. Periodically, we’ll need to get information and signatures from you. For instance, to comply with HIPPA laws, hospitals can’t release your medical records to the Social Security Administration without your signed consent. From time to time, we’ll need to get a hold of you so that you can sign these forms so that your claim can continue to move forward, so quick replies to emails, texts, and telephone calls are appreciated and necessary.
We also need you to continue to comply with the medical treatments and appointments that have been laid out for you by your doctor. This includes attending all doctor appointments, taking medications, doing therapy, and making lifestyle changes as your doctor has laid them out to you. If you don’t comply with your doctor’s medical advice, this sends the message that your condition isn’t that serious, which can negatively affect the outcome of your claim.
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.