Monthly Archives

February 2015

Working with Your Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library, Uncategorized

Working with Your Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney wheelchair on beachWhen you are trying to get approved for Social Security disability benefits, you may have questions about what your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney will do and what you can expect to happen at each stage. While each case is unique, your attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC will generally follow these basic steps. Understanding them can help you in better assisting your lawyer.

Initial Consultation

Your first contact with your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may either be over the telephone or in person. During this conversation, you can expect the lawyer to ask you some questions regarding your disabling condition. The lawyer will use this information to determine whether or not they are willing to take your case. The attorney may also have a trained staff person conduct this initial interview. If it appears as if you will likely not win on appeal, the attorney will probably not take your case.

Building Medical Support for your Claim

If your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney agrees to accept your case, you can expect to be asked to sign a medical release. This is important because your consent is required for your lawyer to obtain your medical records from all of the medical professionals and doctors who have provided you with treatment for your disabling condition. Upon a review of your medical records, your attorney may determine that additional medical testing or treatment is needed and request that you schedule appointments for them. Your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may also use your medical records to decide which of your doctors should be asked to submit letters of support for your disability claim. They then may also decide which records should be submitted as evidence in your case, as you will have the burden of providing medical evidence showing how your disabling condition impacts your life and leaves you unable to work.

Preparing for the Hearing

Before your hearing, you may have limited contact with your lawyer, but they are working to prepare. They may ask you to gather records of your past employment in addition to medical records. At some point, you should expect your lawyer to ask you the same types of questions they expect you to be asked. You should be prepared to answer questions regarding your condition, the symptoms you experience and their frequency and intensity, as well as whether you have also developed co-occurring mental health problems like depression or anxiety. Other questions for which you should be prepared include the medications you take and their effectiveness, how your disabling condition impacts your ability to complete daily activities and tasks, any side effects you experience from your medications and the limitations your condition places on your ability to work. Additionally, you must also be prepared to answer questions regarding your work history and the types of normal activities your work requires. You’ll be asked how your disabling condition prevents you from being able to conduct those activities. A final area you can expect to be asked about is your level of education and whether or not you are literate.

Preparing Witnesses

In addition to you, your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may determine that they need to call other witnesses to testify on your behalf. These witnesses may include your doctor, co-workers, friends or family. Before deciding whether or not to call these additional witnesses on your behalf at your hearing, your attorney is likely to first evaluate what the witness would say during their testimony. They do this to make certain that the testimony of witnesses is helpful to your case instead of hurtful to it. They will then call only those witnesses that are most likely to help you win approval.

Determining Arguments to Use

Since your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney will be presenting your case and arguing for approval at your hearing, they will first evaluate why you were initially denied, then developing their theory of your case. Some theories that may be used include that you are unable to work any longer, that your condition is among those officially listed by the Social Security Administration or that your current non-exertional or exertional limitations prevent you from being able to return to even a sedentary type of job.

Contact a Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

Getting help with your Social Security disability case is often vital to helping you win. To contact a Lawrence Social Security disability attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC, call (888) 295-4955.

The Importance of the Doctor’s Report in Proving an SSD Claim

By English Blogs

The Importance of the Doctor’s Report in Proving an SSD Claim

The doctor’s opinion is one of the most important pieces of evidence needed for building a Social Security Disability Claim. A disability lawyer in Lawrence can answer questions from you and your doctor about the preparation of the report.

What Does the Social Security Administration Need From My Doctor?

disability lawyer in Lawrence

The SSA looks at what’s called “objective medical findings” relating to your claimed disability. Understand the doctor’s report, while critical, is not the only piece of evidence considered. Your disability attorney in Lawrence can discuss the conditions included in the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments” (those medical conditions typically found to support a disability claim). If your disability isn’t on the list, the SSA will look at how your impairment affects our ability to work. While it may be harder to prove your disability if it’s not on the list, supportive doctor’s findings may help overcome a denial of your benefits.

Can’t My Doctor Just Say I’m Disabled from Work?

No. As your disability attorney in Lawrence can advise, your doctor should talk to you and incorporate your opinion about your work limitations. However, your doctor must still use his/her own professional judgment when giving their medical opinion about your impairments. Your doctor should weigh your description of symptoms against a reasonable medical diagnosis and/or medication side effects etc.

If you have been injured and cannot work for a period of at least twelve months, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability. It can help greatly to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side. Contact Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955.

A Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney Discusses Payments

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

A Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney Discusses Payments

Scales of Justice Lowell Disability AttorneyA Lowell disability attorney can provide guidance when it is taking too long for your Social Security disability benefits to be paid.

Dealing with a Delay in Receiving Benefits

Your Lowell disability attorney will tell you that you have three options when it is taking too long to receive your Social Security disability payments. They are:

  1. Call your local political representative. Your local representative will have someone whose specialty is to deal with the Social Security Administration.
  2. Speak to a supervisor at the Social Security office in your area. This can expedite the payment if the supervisor contacts the payment center.
  3. Have your lawyer send a message to the payment center via fax. When you are receiving payment from the Office of Central Operations (OCO) located in Baltimore, a letter can be faxed straight to the processing units, also known as modules or “mods” for short.

Recommendations from the SSA Regarding Notice of Award

If you have not gotten a Notice of Award within 45 days of the date in which you received a decision in your favor, you or your lawyer should fax the SSA to inquire about the case. In the event that they do not reply within the next 45 days, send another fax to the same number and make sure that it is addressed to the module manager. Should there be no response within 45 days of the second message, send a third message and address it to the Division Program Manager. If there is no response to the third fax, wait 45 days and send a fourth fax to 410-966-0715 to contact the Center for Program Support. As always, make sure there are copies of all faxes.

Contact a Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney

If you have not received your benefits in a timely fashion, call (888) 295-4955 to speak to a Lowell disability attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC today.

Mistakes in Applying for Disability Benefits

By English Blogs

Mistakes in Applying for Disability BenefitsLawrence Social Security Disability Lawyer

Basic mistakes in applying for disability can cost you benefits. Even if you are able to obtain benefits after certain mistakes, you will likely have to wait for a protracted period. However, with help from a Lawrence Social Security disability lawyer, you can avoid such costly errors. One of the biggest mistakes that Lawrence Social Security disability attorneys see clients make is not appealing a denial of benefits. More than fifty percent of claimants do not appeal the denial of their initial applications. Even if they do appeal, many who are denied reconsideration don’t request the additional hearing to which they’re entitled.

Lawrence Social Security Lawyers Urge You to Seek Medical Help

Another mistake many people make is not getting medical treatment for their disability. Fortunately, this is something Lawrence Social Security disability lawyers see less often than the mistake of not appealing. But it is still a serious error. If you have an illness or injury, it is imperative to seek medical attention in order for you to heal. It’s also important for legal reasons: medical records play a large part in whether Social Security grants your benefits.

Get Help from an Experienced Lawrence Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have become disabled and are not able to work for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you’re having problems applying for disability, talk to an experienced Lawrence social security disability attorney. Call Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955.