Last updated 3 months ago
Social Security disability paperwork may seem simple enough to figure out. However, this does not mean that you should represent yourself and forgo hiring an attorney for any legal proceedings having to do with your claim. Doing so may result in a smaller judgment or even a possible denial of compensation. Here is how underrepresentation can hurt your chances of having your Social Security disability claim approved:
If you are hurt and unable to work, the Social Security Administration needs to understand the severity of your injuries. If you represent yourself, you may not have all of the necessary paperwork handy when you turn in your forms. A lawyer can track down medical bills, employment records, and other evidence to ensure that you paint the most complete picture possible. In addition, your attorney will ensure that your paperwork contains all appropriate details. Your lawyer can also contact expert witnesses and other medical professionals who can help the Social Security judge fully understand your claim.
Lack of an Appeal
One of the main reasons why you should hire a lawyer with experience in Social Security disability law is that he or she will be able to help you file an appeal. If your initial request for disability benefits is denied by the judge, you may file a timely appeal of your claim to be heard by another magistrate. An attorney will ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate time frame and contains up-to-date legal research to support your unique disability situation. Going without a lawyer may mean that an initial denial is your only chance to ask for compensation.
Do not fall into the trap of representing yourself in Social Security disability proceedings. Pennsylvania attorney Todd M. Berk, Esq. has decades of experience helping Philadelphia-area residents receive just compensation for their pain and injuries. Call our office at (215) 687-4432 to schedule a consultation to discuss how to get your disability claim approved.
The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.
Last updated 3 months ago
The Social Security Administration is more overburdened than ever. It is understaffed and feeling the financial burden of sequestration. For disabled Americans looking for assistance, this means that the rate of rejections and pace of appeals will be slower than ever.
Hiring an attorney can help increase the chances that the first review of your file yields a positive response. A lawyer with experience in this area knows exactly what evidence and paperwork the agency examiner needs. Your lawyer can ensure that you meet and exceed the burden of proof necessary when filing your claim. This can help you receive a positive answer quicker and avoid the lengthy appeals process down the line.
When you submit a claim to the Social Security Administration, you must operate on their timetable and provide all necessary documents. This is where an experienced attorney can help. Todd M. Berk, Esq. is a lawyer serving the Chester, Reading, Norristown, and Philadelphia areas. If you want help with an SSDI or SSI claim, call our office today at (215) 687-4432.
Last updated 4 months ago
When it comes to federal government benefits, many Americans have difficulty understanding the alphabet soup of acronyms describing different assistance programs. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two long-running initiatives designed to help those in need. This is an overview of the biggest differences between SSDI and SSI:
Social Security Disability Insurance
If a worker is disabled or blinded, he or she is eligible to apply for SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This program is funded by Social Security taxes paid by all U.S. workers, and is meant to provide financial assistance to those who are severely hurt as a result of an accident. SSDI also allows beneficiaries to receive Medicare coverage after remaining on the program for at least two years. Unfortunately, the SSA suffers serious claim backlogs and frequently denies legitimate claims. In this instance, an attorney can help you file an appeal and argue your case in court.
Supplemental Security Income
An individual seeking to receive SSI must meet higher qualifications to maintain eligibility. For instance, not only must a petitioner be either disabled or blind, but he or she must also be a U.S. citizen with limited income who currently resides in the United States. SSI is different than SSDI because this program was created to help households with lower income. Furthermore, participation in SSI does not disqualify beneficiaries from receiving assistance from the general Social Security program. Signing up for SSI automatically sends applicant information over to Social Security for processing and benefit dispersal.
Todd M. Berk, Esq. is a Philadelphia-area attorney with 33 years of experience. If your claim was improperly denied, our office can help. Waiting too long to seek a legal opinion can void your initial claim, which is why we recommend acting as soon as possible. Our team offers free initial consultations to all first-time clients; call us today at (215) 687-4432 to get the ball rolling on your claim.
Last updated 4 months ago
Retirees and disabled Americans who depend on Social Security assistance from the federal government would be greatly affected by a new congressional proposal called “Chained CPI.” This video explains how the proposal involves freezing the Cost of Living Adjustment used to increase Social Security payments to scale with inflation.
This policy would keep the benefit amount the same, no matter the rate of inflation. Over the course of someone’s retirement, this could have repercussions in the thousands of dollars. The federal government wants to implement a Chained CPI because it would save them money; however, it would effectively decrease the value of a retiree’s benefits.
If you live in Pennsylvania and your Social Security claim was recently denied, consider contacting attorney Todd M. Berk, Esq. by dialing (215) 687-4432. Our firm has decades of experience working with the Social Security Administration.
Last updated 4 months ago
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a large bureaucratic entity that frequently makes mistakes. If you filed a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) and received a denial letter, you have the legal right to appeal the decision. Here are the three major steps in the process of appealing an SSD claim:
Step 1: Reconsideration
The first step is petitioning the SSA to review your file within 60 days of receiving a rejection. This involves the local office passing your documents to a different reviewer for consideration. If the second SSA employee believes that you have met your burden of proof, he or she will reverse the denial and you will receive notice that your benefits have been approved.
Step 2: Judicial Hearing
If reconsideration does not yield a positive result, you have the right to have your case heard by an Administrative Law Judge. This individual is an attorney who works for the SSA, and presides over a court where you present evidence and cross-examine witnesses that are relevant to your disability. A disability rights attorney can help you prep for this process and represent you in front of the judge for the entirety of your hearing.
Step 3: Further Appellate Venues
If the judge does not reach a favorable conclusion, you have two other legal appellate options: appeal to the Social Security National Appeals Council or file a case in federal court. Both of these courts involve lengthy pre-trial processes and a great deal of legal paperwork. Consult your attorney about the viability of these options, as your chances of approval are lower in these courts than within the SSA’s own system.
If you live in the Philadelphia area and have recently received a denial of your SSDI claim, consult attorney Todd M. Berk, Esq. as soon as possible. You only have 60 days from the date of your letter to decide on a course of action, so dial (215) 687-4432 to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our staff.