We Know This is Really Important
Our Social Security Disability clients are often our most vulnerable. One big reason involves proving "disability." A Social Security applicant must prove that they are no longer working on a regular basis, which means there is no income. Then, they have to prove a serious medical problem keeps them not only from returning to prior work, and any other job that exists in the national economy. To see if you proved your claim, Social Security requests your work history, medical records, and statements from your and friends or family. At the initial application, Social Security hires doctors to review your records, who come up with an opinion of what kinds of things you can still do at work. These doctors make their opinions often without examining you or asking you about your medical condition.
Then there are the appeals. An initial application involves filling several forms, and can take several months. Many claims are denied, and to move forward, you must file a Request for Reconsideration, which is the first of many possible appeals. If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, and most are, your next appeal is a Request for Hearing, and in many cases, a long wait for a hearing date.
If the Administrative Law Judge approves your claim at hearing, your benefits are paid, but if not, there is another possible appeal to the Appeals Council, which is another part of the Social Security Administration. These appeals often take several months, and if denied, the next step is a possible federal court claim.
So, there is a lot at stake, and a lot to think about.
Order Our Free Social Security Disability Guide . . .
If you are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability, or appealing a recent claim denial, our Social Security Disability Guide will help you know where you stand, and give you some valuable tips to navigate the initial application so you have the best chance of succeeding the first time. If you are thinking about an appeal of a recent claim denial, the guide explains the initial appeal process, and gives you step by step tips on appeal forms and questionnaires.
We also cover the Request for Hearing, the appeal of a denied Request for Reconsideration, and give you more tips on completing the appeal, and what to expect at hearing.
How We Help Our Social Security Disability Clients
We help our clients every step of the way, and keep in touch. If your claim is denied, we complete the proper appeal and the Disability Report, request and review your claim file, and make a plan with you to build the case. This includes everything from updating medical records (including those records Social Security never bothered to request), getting medical opinions, and talking to friends and family to obtain and prepare witness statements.
We keep our clients informed throughout the appeal, and offer update conferences so you can know where we are on the claim. Many of our cases go to hearing, and to get ready, we meet with our clients before hearing to make sure we are on track. As the hearing date approaches, we meet with our client to prepare for hearing, often more than just one time, and not minutes before the hearing at the hearings office.
If the Judge denies the appeal after hearing, we review the Unfavorable Decision to look for appealable issues, and work with our client on the Appeals Council process, which includes updating medical records where necessary, and preparing written arguments for the Appeals Council.
Even if the Appeals Council denies review, we work closely with attorneys that specialize in Federal Court appeals who review your case for yet another level of appeal.
We Have Helped Many People Just Like You
Joe has worked with a variety of folks with many different medical problems, including the following conditions:
- spinal conditions, including herniated discs and spinal degenerative disc disease;
- orthopedic conditions, including weight bearing joint disorders (hips and knees);
- arthritis, including Rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative arthritis, and Psoriatic arthritis;
- Mental Impairments, including Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD
We regularly work with physicians and other health care providers to document your limitations, and do it in a way that will put you in the best position to get your claim accepted. We have handled Social Security Disability matters throughout Oregon and Washington for close to thirty years.
Contact Us. There Is No Cost
Social Security rules and statutes provide that we are not paid unless successful in getting your disability claim approved. Even if you are just thinking about an application, we are happy to point you in the right direction. Contact us with your questions, or with help on an appeal.