Worcester Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer
Marlborough SSD Application Lawyer
If you follow the Social Security Administration’s instructions, the process for completing an initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is supposed to be as simple as filling out a form on line. The reality, however, is that a very large percentage of initial applications are rejected for procedural reasons or because the Social Security examiner doesn’t think the claimant’s disability prevents them from working on the job market.
Eden Rafferty is recognized as one of the leading Social Security Disability law firms serving clients throughout central Massachusetts. We guide your initial application or appeal through the process, from initial steps through final resolution. Please contact us to discuss your SSDI claim with a member of our team. We offer a free consultation for an honest evaluation of your case. We represent clients on a contingency-fee basis. Your attorneys’ fees will be paid as a low percentage of your benefits, as determined by federal law.
The Steps and What Goes Wrong
Initial claim: Submitting a completed form starts the ball rolling, but it is rarely enough to get through the initial examination process. The examiner’s office will immediately request medical records and proof that your disability makes it impossible for you to work at your former job or seek new employment. Doctor’s offices often refuse to comply with the request or delay their response. The examiner will not follow through with the investigation. Unless you advocate for yourself, your initial application is likely to be tabled. Our firm vigorously pursues the steps necessary to ensure that your records are accurate and submitted in a timely manner. When the examiner has all records in hand, however, the Social Security Administration admits that they deny initial claims in 70 percent of all cases.
Reconsideration appeal: If or when you receive your letter of denial, you will have the option to file an appeal. The first appeal is known as the reconsideration process. Don’t give up. Never give up. The reconsideration process is just one more step the SS process makes you go through, often with a disappointing outcome. In short, the process requires you to resubmit your application, where it will be handled in the same way but by a different examiner. Again, unless you are ready to advocate strongly for an accurate and appropriate diagnosis, medical records and other supporting documentation into the hands of the reconsideration examiner, your appeal has little chance of approval. When it comes to SSDI claims approval, it really is a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Eden Rafferty will work diligently with all parties to make sure the information required for reconsideration is handled efficiently and effectively.
The hearing: If your claim is denied by the reconsideration examiner — as most are — you will finally have the opportunity to tell your story to an administrative law (ALJ) judge. You will have 60 days to contact the Social Security office to request a hearing. This is where many initial claimants give up. Don’t. It is important to move ahead with the hearing, because it will be your first real opportunity to get your claim approved. It generally takes several months for your hearing to come up on the calendar. If your financial condition becomes dire, you may write a letter to your local SSDI office or Congressional representative requesting a speedier hearing.
Yes, we represent you and advocate vigorously on your behalf at the hearing.
At the hearing, the ALJ judge will review your financial condition as much as your medical condition. During the months leading up to your hearing, our firm will prepare documentation and advise you about how the judge is likely to view your need for benefits and whether you can find employment in another line of work in your geographic region. Your attorney will prepare the case, study your file and prepare the strongest case possible to refute the reason for denial. At your hearing, we will present clear evidence supporting your claim for approval. In addition, if the Social Security examiner presents expert medical or vocational witnesses to testify against approval, we use our trial experience and knowledge to cross-examine them and challenge their assertions with strong evidence on your behalf.
The decision: Do not expect a decision to be handed down immediately following the trial. Generally, the judge will say the ruling will arrive by mail in six to eight weeks. Expect it to take twelve weeks or longer. If your claim is denied by the judge, you have the option of taking your claim to federal court. If the decision is favorable, the approval letter will explain the amount of benefits you are to receive, including back-pay and the amount that will be diverted to your attorney for legal representation.
Worcester Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney
Wherever you are in the process, you can learn more by discussing your claim with an attorney at our firm. From our offices in Worcester, we represent clients throughout the MetroWest region and central Massachusetts. Contact us to arrange a free consultation.