Filing Disability Claims: Germani & Germani Law Offices
Social Security Disability Claims
The help of a Social Security Disability attorney may greatly improve your chances of approval, get you approved more quickly, and potentially increase the benefits amount you are awarded. Because of that, it is important to choose an attorney who has experience in this field of law.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits it is necessary for you to file an initial application with your local Social Security Office. Social Security requires that you provide a detailed accounting of your daily life, both before and after your disability, and obtain medical records and reports from all physicians you have been treated by and from all medical facilities you have been treated at; and also provide Social Security with an extensive medical history, including list of medications, and types of medical treatment. This coordination of the application with medical records and reports is required, but can be frustrating and confusing. Also, on many occasions Social Security will require you to see a doctor of their choosing and we will prepare you for this meeting.
It is not unusual, in fact it is quite common, for Social Security disability benefits to be denied at both the initial application and at the reconsideration stages; in which case the next step is to file for an appeal.
There are many reasons for initial denial and denial at the reconsideration stages of your Social Security Disability Application. The major reason being that Social Security has determined that your disability does not prevent you from performing all types of work. Social Security will assess a claimant's residual functional capacity, and use this as a further reason for denial. Social Security can also deny your claim if they determine that your medical records/documentation are incomplete or inadequate. They can also deny your claim if a doctor of their choice determines that your own doctor's medical opinion is incorrect, unclear, or unsubstantiated.
There are multiple steps of appeal for any disability claim.
If your initial application has been denied, there is no question that your should appeal the initial determination of the Social Security Administration, and the attorneys here at Germani & Germani Law Offices can help you with the complicated and confusing appeals process.
First is Reconsideration.
A Request for Reconsideration must be made by you within 60 days of your initial denial. Once you have filed your Request, Social Security will assign a different examiner to re-evaluate your initial claim to see if an error was made in the determination of your initial claim.
If your Reconsideration is denied.
The second step is to apply for an Administrative Hearing. This application too must be made within 60 days of the denial for Reconsideration. A hearing is scheduled, between 2 months and up to a year, and at the hearing your claim is presented to an Administrative Law Judge. At the hearing you will be allowed to present your case to the Judge, and you may call witnesses of your choice to testify on your behalf. The Judge will also be able to ask you questions in order to clarify the facts and to evaluate your case further. Once the hearing is over, the Judge will make his decision in your case and will notify you in writing of his decision.
3rd and 4th Step
Administrative Hearing Denial.
If your case is further denied at the Administrative Hearing, the third step in this process is to appeal this denial by filing an appeal with the Appeals Council, who in turn will review your case, prior to submitting it to the United States District Court, the fourth and final step. All documentation presented at your earlier hearings will be reviewed and re-evaluated, and a final decision will ultimately be made.
Navigating the Social Security Disability claim process.
Between complicated applications, precise medical records, solid evidence, and hearings, great weight is placed on accurate and concise documentation and reports. It is necessary to testify before an Administrative Laws Judge, an appeals Council, and possible before the United States District Court.
It is highly important - imperative actually - that you prepare for and approach each step of the appeals process with the best information and supporting documentation that you can have. The law firm of Germani & Germani Law Offices is committed to careful, accurate preparation of all appeal applications and forms; obtaining the clearest, most accurate medical records available, and presenting your case before each representative of Social Security with strong, persuasive facts and evidence, all of which are intended to reach a favorable outcome for our Social Security Disability clients.
Legal fees for representation in Social Security Disability cases are set by the US Government, and are a percentage of past due benefits.