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Is pain preventing you from doing ordinary daily activities?
Has an injury or illness kept you from working?
Have you applied for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits and been denied?
Do you have an upcoming disability hearing?
If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", then I would like to help you.
If you are unable to work on a full-time consistent basis due to a physical or mental impairment, you may be qualified to receive disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, many individuals who apply for these benefits are denied at the initial level and must file an appeal. This appeal results in an Administrative Law Judge hearing. Obtaining a representative for your hearing is not required by the law. However, your chances of success are greatly increased when your case has been thoroughly prepared by a representative who can articulate the merits of your claim before an Administrative Law Judge.
While the Social Security Administration has recently made great progress in shortening the length of time an individual must wait for his or her case to be heard, individuals who cannot work must often wait in excess of a year before their hearing gets scheduled. However, the Social Security Administration has hired a number of new Administrative Law Judges both locally and nationally, and has implemented new procedures in an attempt to stream-line this process.
Despite this improvement in processing times, the long wait for the hearing date can often be financially devastating to families. In instances where there is strong medical evidence, an experienced representative can significantly shorten a claimant's wait time by submitting a brief to the Administrative Law Judge early on in the case. This practice will sometimes result in an early favorable decision without the need for a hearing. In cases where the medical evidence is not as strong, or the request for a favorable decision is denied, an experienced representative will prepare the claimant to testify before the Administrative Law Judge and ensure that the claimant's file is updated and properly presented to the Judge.
If a claim has already been denied by an Administrative Law Judge, a representative can request a review of the Judge's decision by the Appeals Council on behalf of the claimant and submit additional evidence and arguments in support of the disabled individual's claim for benefits.