Introduction to Disability:  SSDI & SSI

disability-600For over ten years, we have helped clients at every stage of the disability process – from application to Federal appeal.  We work directly with applicants as well as other attorneys and disability representatives.  We personally and caringly assist our clients with case evaluation, case development, and hearing preparation.  Even if you have worked with another attorney or representative and been denied after hearing we can help you with your Federal appeal.

Application.

We will assist you in completing your initial application for benefits.  This is usually accomplished in a two-hour intake meeting.  Items to bring to include your list of doctors, list of medications, list of employers and employment history.

Case Development.

In addition to submitting your medical records and making sure you are getting the treatment you require, you will also submit your own personal statements and statements from family and friends.  We work with you to ensure that forms are filled out completely, truthfully and consistently.  We also work with your doctors and treatment providers to obtain their medical opinions on your functional limitations.

Initial Denials and Reconsideration.

Most applicants are denied twice before requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  A timely appeal is required each time or your case will be closed and you will have to re-apply.  We work with you to ensure that you respond and appeal in a timely fashion to keep your case alive.

Hearings Before an Administrative Law Judge.

After your initial denial and denial upon reconsideration and further case development – often including visits to doctors who evaluate you at the Administrations request – you will have the opportunity to present your claim to a judge.  This is an “informal” proceeding that lasts for one hour and will often have experts on job availability or your medical condition as witnesses.  We attend this hearing with you and make sure that all the important questions are asked as well as ensure that all the relevant facts are before the judge.

Appeals After Hearing.

If you receive an unfavorable determination after a hearing before a judge there are still appeals available to keep your claim alive.  The Appeals Council will review the legal and factual basis for the denial if you request review within 60 days of notice of your denial.  Once the Appeals Council denies review you may further appeal your case by filing a suit in federal court.

Federal Court Appeals.

We specialize in United States District Court appeals of disability claims.  After Appeals Council denial of review, you have 60 days to file a complaint (a suit) in federal court.  This begins a process of discovery and brief writing as well as negotiation with government attorneys to argue the merits of your claim as well identify the errors made by the judge at hearing.  We have an excellent rate of success with federal appeals.  We handle federal appeals for individuals, attorneys, and claimant representatives.