Rebecca M. engaged us to represent her in March, 2010. As a result of our representation and the strength of her claim, she received a fully favorable disability decision from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination on June 7, 2010. Our client sought disability benefits due to multiple medical conditions, including Behcet's disease, degenerative joint disease, arthralgias, pernicious anemia, neuropathy autoimmune vasculitis and depression.
Our client called us before she applied for Social Security disability benefits. This gave her an advantage, as we were able to review and improve her Social Security online application before it was submitted to Social Security.
Engaging an attorney at the initial application step has many advantages. In this case we also asked our client's rheumatologist to complete a short assessment form to document his medical opinion about his patient's functional capacity. We also obtained and submitted medical records to the state agency. Finally, we helped our client prepare the Adult Function Report Form and the Work History Report form. Receiving an award of benefits from the state agency is difficult. Most claims are denied at the initial review level. Our involvement made a difference in this case.
Brian N. engaged us to represent him in March, 2010. He was seeking Social Security disability benefits based on impairments following a stroke. He also had a seizure disorder and significant fatigue. His disability benefit claim had already been denied by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination. We not only filed his Request for an Administrative Hearing for him, but we used that appeal form to explain the legal basis for an award of benefits. Our approach in all cases is to seek the earliest possible favorable decision for our clients. In this case we asked our client's neurologist to complete a Stroke Residual Functional Capacity form to document his medical opinion about our client's functional limitations. Based on that medical opinion and our legal argument an administrative law judge reviewed this claim early. As a result, our client received a fully favorable decision "on the record" on July 28, 2010 (without having to wait up to a year for a hearing).
Carla G. engaged us in January 2010 after she received a denial decision from an administrative law judge (ALJ). She had attended her hearing in March, 2009 without an attorney. We immediately filed an appeal of the ALJ's decision with Social Security's Appeals Council. In April, 2010 we submitted a detailed legal brief with the Appeals Council outlining the many errors contained in the ALJ's denial decision. On July 26, 2010 the Appeals Council granted the appeal, vacated the ALJ's denial decision and sent the case back to the hearing office for a new hearing. Our client was alleging disability since October, 2007. Based on the decision we were able to obtain from the Appeals Council, our client will have the opportunity to receive over two years of retroactive benefits that had been denied by the administrative law judge.
Sharon H's. Social Security disability claim was denied at the initial level by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination on June 1, 2010. She engaged our law firm to represent her on June 14, 2010. Sharon H. was alleging disability due to her heart problems. Our office filed a Request for an Administrative Hearing for her and began gathering updated medical evidence to support her claim. As a part of this process, we asked the client's doctors to complete Cardiac Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaires to document their medical opinion about Sharon H.'s functional limitations. Based upon the updated medical evidence, the treating doctors' medical opinions and our legal argument, an administrative law judge reviewed this case early. On September 11, 2010, less than 3 months after Sharon H. retained our law firm and requested a hearing, a judge entered a decision fully favorable to our client "on the record" (without the client having to wait for and go to an administrative hearing).
Patrick H. engaged our law firm on June 11, 2010. He was seeking SSI disability benefits based upon Hepatitis C which had caused cirrhosis of his liver. His disability claim had already been denied by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination. Our office requested and obtained updated medical evidence documenting the severity of his medical impairments. Our law firm also obtained medical opinion evidence from our client's physicians which supported our position that Patrick H. could not work on a full time basis. Based upon this evidence, our office filed a legal brief with the Chief Administrative Law Judge, arguing that Patrick H.'s disability claim should be paid "on the record" (without the client having to wait for and go to an administrative hearing). On July 23, 2010, the Chief Administrative Law Judge entered a fully favorable decision to our client, a little over a month after he had retained our law firm.