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Social Security Disability

Tacoma Lawyer Skilled in Social Security Disability Cases

Experienced Washington State attorney helps overcome claim denials

With more than 40 years’ experience representing clients in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) matters, I know how devastating a refusal or discontinuation of benefits can be. I am Dennis L. Comstock, Attorney At Law, and I come to the aid of people in the Tacoma area and in greater western Washington who are seeking SSDI benefits or have had their claims denied, helping them through the entire appeal process from filing to hearing and to decision. I am well-versed in how to structure a winnable claim and how to overcome problems that can lead to denial.

A guide to the process for SSDI benefits applications

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are available to workers who have sustained injuries or suffered illnesses or medical conditions that stop them from working, either temporarily or permanently. You qualify for SSDI if you cannot do the work you did before you became disabled, you cannot perform another job in your current medical condition and your doctor expects that your disability will last for at least a year or result in death.

Claims are subjected to an exacting process of examination by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are granted disability benefits, your case will be subject to a continuing disability review. Benefits may be terminated if the review determines that your condition has improved and you can now work.

The amount of SSDI benefits granted depends in part on your history of earnings. SSDI candidates who have not worked for a sufficient length of time might only be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which have no work requirement.

At my firm, I can explain the SSDI application procedure during a one-on-one consultation, including types of medical evidence and records that need to be assembled and submitted.

A knowledgeable aide to filing appeals from SSDI denials

If your application for SSDI benefits is denied, or if your benefits are terminated after a continuing disability review, I can represent you in pursuing these avenues of appeal:

  • Request for reconsideration — In most states, including Washington, you must first request a reconsideration, which is a complete review of your claim by the SSA’s Disability Determination Service, using medical consultants and examiners who had no part in the original decision.
  • Administrative appeal — If after reconsideration your claim is again denied, you may appeal to an administrative law judge (ALJ), who will conduct a fact-finding hearing and then issue a ruling that upholds or overturns the denial.
  • Appeals council review — If you lose at the ALJ level, you can request review by the SSA’s Appeals Council, which may reverse the ALJ if it finds that there was an abuse of discretion or an error of law or procedure or that the ALJ decision is not supported by substantial evidence.
  • Federal court review — Your last recourse is filing a lawsuit in U.S. district court. A federal judge will review your case for legal errors but may rule on factual findings as well. Very often, a judge will send back the case back to the SSA for reconsideration, such as where the SSA did not consider the medical evidence sufficiently or failed to ask for assessments from treating doctors.

I can also help you with alternatives to appealing your claim denial. One option is requesting a reopening of your claim to submit further evidence, such as proof of worsening of impairments or development of new ones. As another option, I can file a new and better-presented claim.

Contact an exceptional Washington State disability lawyer for a free consultation

Whether you are contemplating a disability claim or have had your benefits denied or discontinued, I can advise you on the best course of action and represent you in the process. Call Dennis L. Comstock, Attorney At Law in Tacoma at 253-235-0514 or contact me online to arrange a free initial consultation.

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Office Location
  • Tacoma Office
    13400 Pacific Avenue S.
    Suite 101
    Tacoma, Washington 98444
    Phone: 253-535-3885
    Fax: 253-535-3887