Throughout Philadelphia, people with disabilities struggle to get the help that they need. The trusted Philadelphia disability lawyers at Bross & Frankel believe that should change. We have devoted our practice to working with individuals with disabilities, advocating for them so that they can get benefits or other necessary compensation.
From our office on JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia, we represent veterans who are seeking disability benefits that they have earned through their service. We also work with individuals with disabilities seeking Social Security benefits, both at the initial application stage and through the appeals process. At Bross & Frankel, we also aren’t afraid to take on massive insurance companies when they wrongfully deny or delay our clients’ long-term disability claims.
Our firm is proud to assist hardworking Philadelphians with their claims, making sure that they get the benefits that they deserve after a workplace injury or illness.
Bross & Frankel, PA
2 Penn Center Plaza, Suite 1850
1500 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Free Consultations: (215) 545-5990
Open Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
How Our Disability Lawyers Can Help
Social Security Disability / SSI Claims
The federal government, through the Social Security Administration (SSA), offers two benefit programs for people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI). Depending on your specific situation, you may qualify for one or both types of Social Security benefits.
There are specific criteria that an individual must meet in order to qualify for each type of benefit. You must prove that you meet the Social Security definition of disabled. This typically means showing that your disability is so severe that you are unable to work for a period of 12 months or longer, or that your condition is expected to be terminal.
The SSA uses a process known as the five-step sequential evaluation to determine if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Generally, you must not be able to work (or earn over a certain amount through substantial gainful activity, or SGA). You must also either meet or exceed the disability rating for your medical conditions in the Social Security listing of impairments, which is also known as the Blue Book.
Even if you don’t meet a Blue Book listing, however, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you cannot perform your current work or other sedentary work. Your Social Security disability lawyer can help you put together the necessary medical evidence to support your claim for benefits.
In addition to proving that you are disabled, you must also demonstrate that you meet additional criteria for SSDI and/or SSI. Specifically, for SSDI, you must show that you have earned enough work credits (by working and paying payroll taxes) to qualify. For SSI, you must meet the asset and income limits set out by the SSA for this program.
The Social Security application process can be difficult, particularly for anyone struggling with a disability and potentially unable to work due to their physical or mental health condition. Our firm can help you with the initial application, as well as with any appeals in the event of a denial of your Social Security disability claim.
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
You are not required to hire a Philadelphia disability attorney for your initial application or even to appeal a denial. However, working with a lawyer is often the best way to achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
The Social Security Administration rejects a large number of initial applications for benefits. This can be for any number of reasons, such as:
- Insufficient information, including a lack of medical records to support your diagnosis and how it affects your ability to work;
- Resubmitting an application that has previously been denied without addressing any deficiencies;
- Paperwork errors;
- Earning above the limit for substantial gainful activity;
- Failure to respond to requests from the SSA for additional information; or
- Not following your doctor’s treatment plan.
A disability lawyer can evaluate your case for these and other common errors. They can then work with you to help you put together the strongest possible case for benefits. This can significantly increase the likelihood of your application for benefits being approved.
If your claim is denied, however, your attorney can help you file an appeal. There are 4 levels of appeal with the SSA:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ)
- Review by the SSA Appeals Council
- Federal Court review (lawsuit)
Each step of the appeals process requires compliance with a strict 60-day deadline. You must also follow the rules related to what evidence can be submitted. If your Social Security disability claim has been denied, then you should immediately contact an attorney. They can help you understand the complex rules governing these types of claims and fight for your right to benefits.
How Much Do Philadelphia Social Security Disability Attorneys Cost?
Social Security disability lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t pay any money upfront, and will usually only pay a fee if your claim is approved. The fee will be a percentage of your back pay award.
All attorney’s fees must be approved by the SSA, and are taken directly out of a backpay award by the SSA. The government caps these fees at 25% or more or $7,200. While there are limited exceptions to this limit, in the vast majority of cases, your fee will not be above these amounts.
Contingency fees are a good way to ensure that people who need assistance can get it. Most people who are applying for disability benefits are experiencing some level of financial strain. This may be because they’re out of work, cutting back on hours, realizing that they won’t be able to work for much longer, and/or facing hefty medical bills.
With a contingency fee arrangement, you can get the help that you need now, without worrying about how you will pay your Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyer. If the SSA approves your claim, it will generally include a back pay award to the date that you first became disabled (subject to a waiting period). Any fees will come directly out of this award.
When Do You Need a Philadelphia Disability Lawyer?
When you apply for disability benefits – whether through the VA, the SSA, or your insurance company – you are not required to have legal representation. In fact, you cannot be represented by an attorney for your initial application for veterans’ benefits. But in many cases, it is a good idea to consult with a Philly disability lawyer before filing any application for disability benefits.
The disability claims process can be challenging and is often filled with pitfalls for the unwary. For example, many applicants for Social Security disability benefits don’t realize that it isn’t enough to prove that you have a disability – you also have to show that your disability makes you unable to work. A skilled Philadelphia disability attorney can help you gather the kind of evidence that you need to get a favorable resolution to your claim.
Many disability claims are denied at the initial level because of paperwork errors, missing documentation, or a failure to present evidence that meets the standards set forth by the agency or insurer charged with determining whether you receive benefits. Working with a lawyer can improve the likelihood that your application will be approved with a minimal delay so that you can get the benefits that you need to support yourself even when you are unable to work.
How Our Philadelphia Disability Attorneys Can Help
Whether you are applying for VA benefits, SSDI/SSI benefits, long-term disability insurance coverage, or even workers’ compensation, having a lawyer can increase the likelihood of having your application approved. It can also decrease the odds of having to appeal a denial, which saves you time and money in the long run.
A Philadelphia disability attorney will start by listening to your story during a free claim review. They’ll develop a strategy based on your unique issues and their knowledge of disability law. For example, if you have a primary diagnosis but a number of related conditions, they will decide how to best put together evidence to show eligibility for disability benefits.
A lawyer can also assist you in compiling the necessary documentation to prove that you are disabled and that you qualify for benefits. They will review information in your application to find any inconsistencies or missing elements, with an understanding that this document will follow you throughout the process – so it is critical that it be put together with an understanding of disability law. If necessary, your attorney can also help you find a healthcare professional who can examine you and provide additional support for your claim.
If your initial claim has already been denied, then a Philly disability attorney can help you appeal a denial or a disability rating. Throughout the process, they will help you understand your rights, the process, and what you need to do to achieve the best possible outcome.
What Our Clients Think
“The class organization really cares about their clients and fights with all they have. Thank you.”
“Best disability law firm to work with if needed. So happy that I chose their law firm to help with my disability case.”
“Excellent experience. Prompt and courteous replies. Mr. Frankel was persistent, patient, and most importantly effective.”
-Mary Ann C.
“After the first interview, the process seemed to move right along. All the paperwork was filed fast and emails were sent on detailed updates.”
Why Bross & Frankel?
Our team has 90 years of combined legal experience, including decades of practice devoted exclusively to disability benefits and employment law. In fact, one of our founding partners previously worked as a benefits authorizer for the Social Security Administration. Our deep knowledge in the areas of disability benefits, workers’ compensation, and employment law gives us a significant advantage, allowing us to anticipate issues and develop a strategy for handling your case.
We are skilled at all aspects of the disability process, from filing the initial application for benefits to making arguments before an administrative law judge at disability hearings to filing a lawsuit in state or federal court to protect your rights. Our team regularly consults with experts to help bolster our clients’ claims and improve their chances of success.
Our law firm prides itself on providing personalized service to each of our clients. When you hire us, you will never be just a case number. We will communicate openly and honestly with you throughout the process.
Our attorneys represent each client with compassion and skill. We understand that the disability benefits claim process is an incredibly difficult time for most disabled individuals. We will respond promptly to calls and emails and keep you updated about your case progress.
We handle most cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront to hire our law firm. Instead, you only pay an attorney’s fee if we are able to recover compensation for you. For Social Security disability and veterans’ disability benefits, attorneys’ fees are capped by the government.
In a free initial consultation, we will analyze your claim and help you decide on the appropriate course of action. We strongly believe in personal, professional service — which includes working hands-on with our clients. We understand that no one knows how your disability affects you better than you do – which is why we always listen carefully and work collaboratively with our clients to put together the strongest possible case.
We know that disabled people have a lot of options when it comes to hiring a Social Security disability attorney. That is why we always go the extra mile to ensure that our clients get the best possible outcome. In Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, we work hard to make sure that you get the best possible results.
Have Questions? We Are Here to Help.
The world of disability benefits, employment law, and workers’ compensation can be overwhelming — particularly if you are already struggling with a medical or mental health condition. It can be even harder if you’re in financial distress and don’t know how you will pay your bills.
Fortunately, you don’t have to handle the application or claims process on your own. We will work with you, advocating for your right to benefits. If your claim is denied, we will stand by your side throughout the appeals process.
For over 20 years, Bross & Frankel has helped individuals with disabilities get the compensation that they deserve. If you need assistance or are interested in a free claim review, contact us today or call us at 215-545-5990 to schedule an appointment with a Philadelphia, PA disability benefits attorney.