Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Treatment and Mental Impairments

Social Security Disability is not something that is deserved and handed out to those who have "worked all their life."  Unfortunately, there is a lot of government "red tape" and paperwork. 

Disability is something that must be proven, which is not always easy to do, especially if you have a Mental Health disability such as Bipolar Disorder, Depression or Anxiety.  The first thing I ask a potential client who is suffering from any type of mental impairment, is "are you in counseling?" 

If a new client is not engaging in active counseling or compliant with medications, I may not take the case, or if I do, they are required to seek counseling immediately and I refer them to someone in their area.

Treatment is vital to you Social Security Disability case, so please, if you have been denied or are thinking about applying, contact me for a free consult by calling 508-393-1967.  You may also email me at robin@bestdisabilitylawyer.com.




Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

BEWARE Disability Applicants! Scammers offering help with Social Security Applications!

Scammers make it hard for Attorney's to gather important information from their clients.

The Federal Trade Commission released a report about the many scammers that are trying to get personal information from people by pretending to help with applications for disability benefits and claims.

A person may call you pretending to be "the Social Security Administration" and want to complete your disability application by asking for personal information, i.e. checking account, social security number, birth date, etc.

"A recent alert from the Social Security Inspector General warns of this phishing scam!. They’re taking a shot in the dark, hoping that you have started an application, and hoping you’ll give them a little more info over the phone. To “complete the process,” they might ask you to give, or confirm, your Social Security number or bank account numbers."

So PROTECT yourself!
  • Never give your Social Security number or account numbers to someone who calls you, this is different from you telephoning an attorney for help. 
  • Don’t wire money or send money using a prepaid debit card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, Disability Attorney's get paid a contingency fee and very rarely will ask for money to be wired or to be paid up front, this is only done in over payment type cases.
FTC.gov/complaint.com
Identitytheft.gov.com

Friday, February 12, 2016

Worcester Social Security Office of Disability Determination and Review

Located within the United States Federal District Court is the Social Security Office of Disability Determination and Review (ODAR) for Worcester County.  The official name is The Donahue Building, and is located at 595 Main Street, Worcester, MA.


If you have a hearing scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge and do not have an attorney, please do not hesitate to call me for a free evaluation of your claim at 800-977-4194 or 508-393-1967.

If you have a hearing scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge at this location, make sure you arrive early enough to park and get yourself checked in through security and upstairs to Room 304, the hearing office at least 30minutes prior to the start time.

The Notice of Hearing you receive from the Office of Adjudication and Review will list what you will need to bring with you.  Make sure you bring a photo ID.




There is metered parking along Main Street and a parking garage located directly across the street.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Everyday, clients call our office and ask why their case is taking so long.  Below is an outline of waiting times and information for the Boston and Springfield Offices of Adjudication and Review (ODAR).  
 
Boston, Massachusetts ODAR Office 
At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Boston, Massachusetts, 13 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Boston, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 11.0 months. The average case processing time in Boston is 383 days.The Boston average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 41%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Boston ODAR office was last updated on 2/12/2015.

OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Boston 13 11.0 months 383 days 1.7 22% 41% 37%
Massachusetts11.3 months392 days1.921%41%38%
National Average:12.8 months432 days2.018%44%38%
 Springfield Ma, Massachusetts ODAR Office
At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Springfield Ma, Massachusetts, 7 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Springfield Ma, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 9.0 months. The average case processing time in Springfield Ma is 325 days.The Springfield Ma average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 38%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Springfield Ma ODAR office was last updated on 2/12/2015.

OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Springfield Ma 7 9.0 months 325 days 2.3 20% 38% 42%
Massachusetts11.3 months392 days1.921%41%38%
National Average:12.8 months432 days2.018%44%38% 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Despite the staggering odds against winning at the Appeals Council Level, O'Neil Associates prevailed for their client!

In February 2014, O'Neil Associates Attorney, Robin O'Neil-Manning received a Favorable Decision from the Appeal's Council for their client fighting the Social Security Administration for her benefits since 2010.

The Appeal's Council only approves approximately 3% of the cases that are brought before them!

If your Social Security claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the next step is filing an Appeal's Council Request for Review.   

As an attorney we appeal to the Council to review the ALJ's decision.  The Appeals Council can deny the claim, remand it back to the ALJ for another hearing or approve the claim outright. The Appeal's Council remands cases back to the judge for another hearing approximately 23% of the time.

The most disappointing statistic is that the Appeals Council denies approximately 73% of claims they review.  It can take 2 years to get a decision from them and if it is denied, it is a blow to the claimant who has been waiting for 2 years, in some circumstances without income.

New regulations disallow claimants to file a new application while an Appeals Council Review is pending.

Many Social Security Attorneys will not file Appeals to the Council because of the length of time and the statistical data supporting unfavorable outcomes.  Even if an Attorney feels a client's claim is very strong and worth the appeal process time, it is a huge gamble for both she and her client.   In most cases, if you choose to refile a new application vs. appealing, the claimant will lose the retroactive benefits up to the date of the ALJ's decision

So if you ask me, what are my chances of getting my benefits approved at the Appeals Council level? 

As previously stated, according to the Social Security Administration reports, on average you have a 3% chance of winning!  

You can improve your chances greatly however, if  you hire a skilled attorney who knows the law and has a proven record of winning their claimant's claims at the Appeal's Council level.
 
If you can't work full time and feel you need Disability Benefits such as SSI or SSDI  because of  a mental health illness or physical disability which impairs your ability to work full time, call our firm.  

We are the Massachusetts best disability lawyers and advocates!

We fight for the cause not the applause!