Bucks County Disability Process Law Firm
An initial claim application for a Bucks County resident must be processed prior to being able to obtain benefits. If you are no longer working, you should apply as soon as possible to best optimize your benefit claim. A Bucks County disability attorney can provide you with the proper guidance to filling out the application. At the time of the initial application, you will need original or certified copies of personal identification addresses and phone numbers of prior and current treating physicians, details about where you worked and the type of work you performed employment records such as tax returns and W-2s. You will also need information on your disabilities and conditions. The best way to file a Social Security claim is to go to the nearest Social Security office in person and wait to see someone to file the claim.
In the alternative, if you wish to do so, you may file over the telephone and can reach the Social Security Administration directly at 800-772-1213 or apply on-line by going to www.ssa.gov. Remember, it is best to speak to one of our experienced Bucks County attorneys prior to applying for benefits as the consultation is free and it will be helpful to your case.
In Pennsylvania, if you are denied initially, you must request a hearing within 60 days. We cannot stress enough how important it is to see a Bucks County disability lawyer immediately after your denial to file a request for hearing. Some generic websites that discuss the appeal process for Social Security discuss a “Reconsideration”. Reconsideration does not exist for Bucks County Social Security applicants.
Hearing by Administrative Law Judge
Most claims that are successful occur at the hearing level. Prior to a hearing, if we are representing your interests, our office will obtain complete records from the Administration as well as records from all of your prior and current treating physicians. In addition, we will extensively prepare you for the hearing. We will further discuss the favorability rate of the judge. We will also have your doctors complete forms pertaining to your particular impairment that are often crucial evidence in your case.
In some cases, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a decision immediately following the hearing, but in most cases, will forward a written decision within 2 to 3 months after the hearing. If the decision is favorable, you should be receiving your benefits approximately 2 to 3 months thereafter.
Procedure for Disability In Bucks County Continued
Appeals Council Review
If the Administrative Law Judge issues a non-favorable decision for our Bucks County disability clients, the next step is to request review by the Appeals Council. This process must be completed within 60 days following the decision. It is critical to have experienced legal counsel to request the review since there will not be a hearing regarding your review, and it is based upon the law and findings in your case.
If you fail to request Appeals Council review and cannot show good cause for failing to request the review, your case will end, and if you wish to pursue the matter further, it will be necessary that you start the process over.
However, if a request to the Appeals Council is made within 60 days, your claim will be reviewed, and the Appeals Council will make an independent decision based upon a determination whether the Administrative Law Judge’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.
If the Appeals Council decides not to remand (send the matter back for a new hearing) or reverse the Administrative Law Judge, you have 60 days to file a complaint in Federal District Court.
At that time, a Complaint, as well as a legal Brief, will be filed and a Federal Judge will decide your claim. The Judge may send your case back for a new hearing, deny your claim, or award benefits. Once again, all representation through any process is handled on a contingent basis and there is no fee for our Bucks County clients unless we win.
It is important to be represented by an attorney at each step of the process. Remember, there is never a fee unless you recover benefits.