ME Social Security Disability
We understand from the very beginning that you need to know what to expect in the Social Security application, and if necessary, appeals process in ME. The Social Security regulations are quite complex and you need a serious ME Social Security disability attorney who has been in the trenches, handling disability hearings on behalf of New England's disabled for over 30 years. You do not want a disability lawyer who has been dabbling in this area of the law as it is too complex to understand from handling simply a few claims over the years. You need a lawyer who has successfully handled thousands of such cases before the Social Security Administration (SSA) and who will provide you with the personal attention your case deserves. I provide personal oversight over every case we handle and I, personally, attend all SSA hearings as it is my belief that paralegals and attorneys less experienced in the profession will not provide you with your best chance of recovery. Experienced and zealous advocacy makes a big difference when it comes to a ME Social Security disability (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, whether it's from the outset of the case or when having to appeal cases previously handled by those less capable.
My ME office begins by undertaking a detailed assessment of your personal circumstances, including your circumstances behind leaving work, your work history and treatment history: we need to hear your personal story as to how you became disabled. There is no way to adequately explain your story to the SSA without learning it first. Once I have heard your story and understand it, I will be in a position to assess how best to develop additional evidence so that I can explain your personal story to the SSA. Likewise, I will be able to determine what issues will arise as part of the SSA’s review of your claim so that these issues can be met head on.
Whether your case is at the initial filing stage (where my assistance may allow you to avoid what could be a 2 year claims/appeals process), the reconsideration stage or before an administrative law judge at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), a skilled ME Social Security disability lawyer working for you can make call the difference in your claim. Likewise, if you have been represented previously by a lawyer or non-attorney representative and did not fare well, you may find that we can assist you with either a new claim (with a request to reopen your prior claim), or even appeal for you to the appeals council or federal district court level.
From the outset, we will review whether additional treatment avenues need to be pursued to ensure that you are getting all the medical assistance you should be: this is important for you personally, as well as for your case (as the SSA requires that you do everything possible to get yourself better and back to work, if that is at all possible). Likewise, we will evaluate what proof will need to be gathered in the form of additional medical evidence and testimony that will lead to successfully proving your claim of disability. One of the first items of business upon taking on your case is to draft questionnaires for your various treating physicians to address: it is always our goal to prove your case as soon as possible. Whereas some attorneys' offices wait until you're denied before pursuing this type of proof, you will see that our office undertakes questionnaires for your doctors immediately as the sooner we are able to win your case the better it is for you. Likewise, at each stage of the proceedings, we will work with you to ensure that Social Security has updated treatment records to ensure that they have the information necessary to make a favorable decision in your case. We will ensure that the SSA has additional evidence from other sources (whether it be workers' compensation documents, Veteran's Administration rating examinations and decisions, private disability carriers' files, records from state agencies who have evaluated your claim, etc.). These various forms of evidence can ultimately prove to be essential to establishing your claim of disability.
While our goal is to win your case at the earliest stage possible, should you faced a denial, we're prepared to fight for you on appeal.. In Maine and Massachusetts there is a two stage appeals process: if denied initially, you must first undertake a reconsideration process and then, if denied, one requests a hearing; in New Hampshire, if denied, one gets to proceed immediately with a request for hearing). Ultimately, it may be necessary to appear at a hearing. Not only will our office guide you through each step of the way, we will ensure that your file is fully updated with the proof necessary to promote your claim of disability. Attorney Russell Goldsmith will personally prepare a legal brief to the hearing office prior to the hearing: many times these briefs will serve to show that a compelling case has been made such that a need for hearing is not necessary. Assuming a hearing is still necessary, he will personally prepare you for hearing (a process that may take on average an hour to two hours) to ensure that you know, soup to nuts, what to expect at the hearing. Likewise, Attorney Goldsmith will personally attend the hearing with you so that he can ensure that the appropriate testimony is elicited at hearing to promote your claim of disability and advocate your position before the Administrative Law Judge.
Given his thirty (30) years of experience, Attorney Goldsmith is familiar with all of the judges handling these cases in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and it is through this experience that he is able to guide you through not only the hearing process but also through who the particular judge happens to be along with their particular idiosyncrasies in holding their hearings. Expertly preparing these cases for hearing and holding your hand as we travel through the hearing process is essential to ensuring you feel confident that your case is being adequately presented - likewise, it is essential to ensuring you feel confident walking into the hearing room that you know what to expect from the hearing process itself.
Finally, our goal in assisting you is to obtain for you the most favorable result possible: this means ensuring that past benefits are paid to the extent possible. In many cases we are able to argue that past claims, even though denied previously (even if denied previously at hearing), should be reopened: this can result in payments being made retroactively a number of additional years prior to your current application. We have been successful over the years in reopening many past claims which were handled by prior attorneys or representatives to an unsuccessful conclusion. An experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive ME attorney can make all the difference in your SSI and/or SSDI claim(s).
The Social Security process can be a frustrating one if you are trying to go it alone or with a lawyer who is simply not experienced in this area of the law (or sufficiently aggressive). The Social Security Administration can be a frustrating organization to deal with (even for a legal professional such as myself). Assuming your medical condition simply will not allow you to return to work, my strong suggestion is that you call my office now so that we can handle these frustrations for you. Our office will undertake a free, detailed evaluation of your claim. We are confident that after doing so we will be able to explain why it is that you may be experiencing difficulties with the claims process and how we might be able to assist you with moving your claim forward to a successful conclusion. Consulting with our office costs you nothing: we only get paid should you decide to hire us, and only when we win.