The process of applying for and appealing denials for Social Security Disability and/or SSI is complicated. In addition to the many forms they send for clients to fill out and the many levels of appealing denials, Social Security also has specific standards they use to determine disability; being deemed disabled by a doctor is not enough; you have to meet specific requirements for your particular condition to be approved. They base this decision on the information in a person’s medical records.
Lawyers and certified representatives are very well acquainted with these regulations. As a result, we know exactly what to look for in medical records and what information will be helpful for a client’s specific case. Additionally, while Social Security requests medical records for a client’s case, they do not follow up if they haven’t received anything. They rarely seek specific opinions from a person’s providers. As a result, a big part of what lawyers and certified representatives do is make sure we submit all possible medical records to Social Security.
Beyond getting medical records, attorneys and certified representatives also read through every page of said records and write briefs for the judges to lay out an argument and ensure all essential information is highlighted. Because of this, some judges prefer for people to have representatives, so they don’t have to do all the legwork themselves.
It’s important to note that attorneys and certified representatives only get paid if you win. The payment comes from back owed benefits (the money you should have been getting if you had been approved from the beginning). The current rate determined by Social Security is 25% of back benefits up to $7,200, whichever is less. This increases motivation for attorneys and certified representatives to help you win since that is the only way they get paid. Additionally, clients do not need to come up with money up front just to have a better chance at winning.
Unfortunately, the process of getting a Social Security Disability is not designed to be a simple one. It is challenging for people to navigate the process alone and even harder to represent themselves effectively in front of a judge at a hearing. The book of regulations Social Security uses to determine disability is over 1,000 pages of tiny text; representatives must constantly refer to it. It can take years to get a good understanding of all the information there. Having a representative who is well versed in the disability process is very important to successfully appeal a denial.
Here at the Law Office of Mark Schneider, we have extensive knowledge of the disability process. This is the only thing we practice in our office. Attorney Mark Schneider has over 40 years of experience in this field, and non-attorney representative Kayla Hebert has been on the job for 3 years; she had to study the regulations extensively for a year to pass the test given by SSA to be a non-attorney representative.
In addition to our experience, we also work hard to create good relationships that benefit clients. This includes the Administrative Law Judges, support staff at the hearing offices, and the team at the local Social Security Office in Plattsburgh. With this, we know what certain judges want, inform clients on what to expect, and get information quickly from SSA at any level of a client’s case. The judges we work with do the hearings for people in Clinton County, Franklin County, Essex County, Hamilton County, Warren County, Saratoga County, Washington County, Schenectady County, Albany County, and Rensselaer County. This means we can help people as far north as the Canadian Border to the Capital Region.
Moreover, we have worked hard to create good relationships with providers ranging from Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, UVM Medical Center, Champlain Spine, and Pain Management, Saratoga Spine, Albany Medical Center, Glens Falls Hospital, many different mental health clinics, and more.
We are here to make this complicated process as easy as possible for you. Please call today to schedule your FREE consultation with us or to get more information!