We do not receive an attorney fee unless we obtain benefits for you

ATTORNEY ALSO A REGISTERED NURSE

Trusted And Respected By Clients, Lawyers, And Judges


Dear Reader,

You are not alone. Do not give up. 

Levian Legal understands the complexities of the medical, financial, family, and legal issues you face as you apply and wait for Social Security disability benefits.

Levian Legal provides aggressive representation and compassionate, personal service.

For more than 17 years, we have assisted Social Security disability claimants to obtain the Social Security disability benefits for which they were eligible. 

Levian Legal does not receive a fee unless it obtains retroactive benefits for its clients.

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Disabled Americans May Be Prejudiced by Irresponsible CBS News Report

On October 6, 2013, the CBS News program, Sixty Minutes, broadcast an approximately thirteen minute segment which exemplified irresponsible journalism. The segment featured a scandal in the disability system allegedly perpetrated by one attorney, and one Social Security disability judge located in the border area of West Virginia and Kentucky. The broadcast appeared intent upon leading viewers to believe every applicant for Social Security disability is a scammer and all lawyers are scoundrels. The obvious omissions in the broadcast were glaring as were factual inaccuracies and liberties taken. 

However, in 2009 CBS News broadcast an accurate two part series on the Social Security disability system. At that time CBS reported the following.

Each year, millions of people who are disabled from an accident or disease turn to the Federal government for Social Security disability payments-a benefit that every worker who is declared disabled is eligible to receive. It's sa 51-year-old government insurance program-a lifeline of sorts- that every worker pays for through that line-item on their pay stub, known as FICA. But a two-month CBS News investigation reveals that safety net may not be there when you need it most.

Social Security disability insurance provides vital assistance to disabled workers and their families. When presenting facts and figures, it is vital for a journalist, or news organization to present accurate information and to put it in proper context. Failure to do so is purposely misleading and perpetrates yet another abuse. 

The 2009 CBS News report honestly stated the following.

Over the last two years, 16,000 people fighting for disability benefits died while awaiting a decision.

The 2009 broadcast also aired the following statement from a Social Security Administration employee. 

We're failing the disabled on a very large scale.

Glaringly egregious was the journalistic decision not to broadcast an interview with any of the millions of truly disabled citizens who have paid into the system, and justifiably obtained benefits. CBS did not have to go far for the interviews. In fact, the CBS archives contain a 2009 two part program with interviews which documented the excruciating difficulty eligible and disabled claimants have obtaining Social Security disability benefits. However, that footage might confuse the viewers who CBS would rather lead to believe all Social Security disability claimants are scammer and slackers. 

The recent Sixty Minutes broadcast appeared to encourage misconceptions about attorneys who represent people applying for Social Security disability benefits. For example, while the broadcast appeared to paint attorneys as scoundrels who rob, cheat, and plunder the government, the broadcast did not mention the fact an attorney may not receive a fee for representing a Social Security disability claimant unless a Social Security disability Administrative Law Judge first approves the fee. Therefore, by extension the CBS broadcast could be construed to have indicted all Social Security Administration Administrative Law Judges who approve attorney fees. Furthermore, if the Social Security disability application and award process were a quick and easy way for claimants to obtain money, there would be no need for claimants to obtain an attorney or to give up a portion of their award as an attorney fee.

The CBS News broadcast did not mention attorney fees in Social Security disability claims are set by statute, or government regulation. Even if a claimant is awarded "current benefits," an attorney may not receive a fee for representation unless a claimant is awarded retroactive, or past due benefits. Attorneys do not decide whether a claim is awarded. An administrative law judge appointed by the government makes that decision. All attorneys are paid the same amount for representation in a Social Security disability claim, i.e., 25% of the past due benefits awarded up to a ceiling of $6,000.00, whichever is LESS. In order for an attorney to be paid $6,000.00, the claimant must be awarded at least $24,000.00, in retroactive benefits. 

Retroactive benefits are calculated by multiplying the number of months for which a claimant is eligible for benefits by the amount of money per month the claimant is eligible to receive. The amount for which a claimant is eligible depends on the amount the claimant has paid into the system via the payroll (FICA) tax deduction from the former worker's pay check. A worker who never collected a "significant" wage, will receive far less per month, than a high paid worker who paid into the system. Even if a Social Security Administrative Law Judge decides a claimant has been disabled for many years prior to the judge deciding the claim, the claimant's retroactive benefit may not be calculated more than 17 months prior to the date of application. Additionally, the Social Security Administration has a five (5) month grace period in which benefits are not calculated, which means the calculation of retroactive benefits begins on month six following the date of application, if the claimant is found disabled 17 months prior to application. 

If an attorney works years on a Social Security disability claim, and if the claimant is not awarded retroactive benefits, the attorney will NOT receive a fee. If on the other hand a claimant were awarded only a $1,000.00 in retroactive benefits, the attorney would receive a $250 fee for the entire period of representation. The government withholds the attorney's fee from the retroactive benefits awarded the claimant and pays the attorney via direct deposit. Attorneys who are paid fees for Social Security disability claims are not plundering the U.S. Treasury. The attorney fee is earned. The fee is paid from the claimant's award after the claimant is found by a Social Security Administration Administrative Law Judge eligible for benefits, and the claimant paid in to the system via payroll taxes. After carrying a claim for what may be two years or more, an attorney must  PAY THE GOVERNMENT for the privilege of being paid a fee for representing a claimant. The attorney pays the government $86.00 for every $6000.00 fee received. In fact, the SSA withholds the $86.00 fee (or proportional percentage), from every direct deposit it makes to an attorney. The amount of money the government receives from attorneys who are awarded fees each year was also not broadcast by CBS News.

Broadcast of any scandal by any news organization boosts ratings and sells advertising. When an irresponsible journalist, or news organization fails to check facts, properly disseminate information, or present all sides of the story, "journalism" perpetuates ignorance and prejudices the innocent majority. It is unfortunate when news organizations omit critical facts, especially when their omissions are related to programs as vital to the tax paying American citizen as Social Security Disability Insurance, which provides benefits to millions of eligible Americans with severe disabilities, and their families, pursuant to Social Security regulation. The discerning public cannot seriously consider information dispensed with as little integrity as the scandal the news organization purports to cover.


Nurse-Attorney Understands Your Situation
When You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

I am Karen L. Levian, a  lawyer and a registered nurse. I attended five years of college at the University of Wisconsin where I obtained my Bachelor of Science (BSN) in Nursing degree. While working full time I spent an additional four years attending the University of Baltimore where I obtained a Juris Doctor degree (JD) in Law. Between obtaining my nursing and law degrees I volunteered and joined the United States Air Force where I served as an officer and a nurse. 

My specialty in the Air Force was pediatric nursing. I cared for the sick children of enlisted and officers at Scott Air Force Base. Additionally I worked with adult surgical patients; general and orthopedic. Later, as a civilian I worked in family planning which provided ample opportunity for counseling and healthcare education, both interests of mine. As a nurse I advocated for and assisted people with health related matters. I counseled and educated patients and their families regarding wellness and prevention. I obtained a law degree in order to advocate and assist people with legal matters. 

A Social Security disability lawyer, I have a unique combination of skills. My legal and medical experience are very valuable assets to people applying for Social Security disability benefits. My combination of skills makes me eminently qualified to represent you in your claim for Social Security disability benefits. Detail oriented and extremely well organized I enjoy reading and summarizing medical records. Your medical records are critical to your claim for Social Security disability benefits. In addition to the daily pleasure I have speaking to my clients, their medical providers, and the Social Security Administration, I spend my days writing persuasive legal arguments to present to the Social Security Administration on behalf of my clients.

Social Security disability benefits are a financial lifeline, which gives you independence, self esteem, and peace of mind. Social Security Administration rules and procedures are complicated, confusing, and frustrating. When you are too frustrated, sick or tired to keep fighting for Social Security disability benefits, I still have the energy to carry on your fight. I am grateful I was able to obtain both nursing and law degrees, and to combine my medical and legal training to advocate for people with claims for Social Security disability benefits. I am also grateful for the trust my clients, their families and medical providers, as well as my colleagues place in me. Thank you for your confidence in my work, and your continued referrals which are noticed and appreciated. 

Serving the people of Delaware; Southeastern Pennsylvania; Maryland, including Central and Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore; Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia; and Washington, D.C., I hear most often "I knew I should call you. You're a nurse and you understand my situation." For a free consultation with the Social Security disability nurse-attorney call today (800) 701-4945 or (410) 433-4040 or complete the contact form on this page.


Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must be found medically and non-medically eligible. To be medically eligible you must have a disease or condition that has lasted for at least 12 months, or is terminal. This condition must make you unable to do ANY job, not just your past job, not just a job at a level you think you should be employed at, but ANY job.

To be non-medically eligible, you must have worked recently enough (usually within the past five years), and had payroll taxes (FICA) taken out of your check and deposited to the Federal Government. Having worked recently enough and paid into the system earns you quarters or credits. You need enough quarters or credits to be eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

If you want to see if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, you can call 1-800-772-1213, free of charge.

If you do not have enough credits for SSDI, you may inquire about your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the number above.

If you contact the Social Security Administration and learn you are eligible for disability benefits and want a FREE case evaluation, contact (410) 433-4040 or (800) 701) 4945.


Social Security Disability Benefits for Maryland Residents

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is frustrating. If it were easy to obtain Social Security disability benefits there wouldn't be the need for Social Security disability lawyers. In our Social Security disability practice callers usually ask if "anyone at the Social Security Administration listened to a word [they] said." Also heard frequently is,"How could they deny me? They didn't even get my medical records!" Social Security disability applicants take note. Just because you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits and applied for them does not mean you will get them. You will have to fight for them. Levian Legal makes sure its clients are treated as more than just a number at the Social Security Administration and that the Social Security Administration has and properly reviews all our clients' medical records.  

The Social Security Administration defines disability as a disease or condition which has lasted, or is expected to last at least 12 months, and/or result in death. The condition must make you unable to do any job, not just your past work. People who have a condition so severe they are unable to do any job may not have the endurance to persist and fight for Social Security disability benefits month after month. That is one reason we recommend hiring an experienced Social Security disability lawyer early in the application process. An attorney whose practice focuses on Social Security disability benefits and who is regularly in front of the Social Security Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), any one of whom may hear your claim, is best equipped to advocate for you. The Social Security Administration keeps "top secret" the identity of the judge who will hear your claim until the day you walk into the hearing office for your hearing. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer is familiar with the characteristic attitudes of each Social Security judge in every locality in which the lawyer represents clients. Therefore, that attorney can prepare your claim as if she will present your claim to any or all of the judges at the hearing office where you are scheduled.

The average award rate of Social Security disability benefits in the United States in September 2012 was 48%. As of September 2013 it was 46%

If your hearing is scheduled in Baltimore, Maryland you will have a judge from ODAR (Office of Disability Hearing and Adjudication) Baltimore. The average award rate of Baltimore Social Security disability judges was 54% in September 2012. As of September 2013 it was 45%.

If you live in Hagerstown, Maryland, your hearing will be scheduled in Hagerstown. You will have an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) from Richmond, Virginia. This judge will appear via big screen television (also called a video hearing). The average award rate of Richmond ALJ's in November 2012 was, 29%. In September 2013 it was 36%.

If your hearing is scheduled in Martinsburg, West Virginia you too will have a judge from Richmond Virginia.

You may tell the Social Security Administration you do not want a video hearing. You have the right to an in person hearing. The Social Security Administration will tell you it takes longer to have an in person hearing scheduled and you will have to drive a greater distance. 

People who apply for benefits in Cumberland, Maryland will have a video hearing scheduled in Cumberland, Maryland with a judge from Charlottesville, VA. The average award rate of Charlottesville Social Security disability judges was 38%in September 2012. As of September 2013 it was 35%.

If you live in Prince George's or Montgomery Counties, in Maryland, your hearing will be scheduled in person with a judge in Washington, D.C. If you live in Southern Maryland, you will be offered a video hearing with an ALJ from ODAR DC. The average award rate of Washington, D.C. Social Security disability judges was 59% in September 2012. As of September 2013, the average award rate of Washington D.C. ALJ's was 53%. Similarly, if you live in Northern Virginia your hearing will be scheduled in Washington, D.C.

Depending on where you live on Maryland's Eastern Shore you will either be scheduled for a hearing in Cambridge, or Salisbury Maryland. For Cambridge, Maryland hearings the judge (average award rate 35%), will appear via video from Charlottesvile, VA. 

Salisbury hearings are covered via video from ODAR Dover. The average award rate of the Dover Delaware Social Security disability judges in November 2012 was 33%. In September 2013 it was 35%.

If you applied for Social Security disability benefits in Elkton, Maryland, your hearing will be scheduled in New Castle, Delaware. You, too, will have a video hearing with a judge (35%) from Dover, Delaware.

Whether you have not yet applied for Social Security disability benefits, or have been denied benefits call the experienced Maryland Social Security disability nurse - lawyer (800) 701-4945 or (410) 433-4040 or complete the Contact Form on this page and today increase your chance of obtaining Social Security disability benefits.


Denial Letter From The Social Security Administration

If you have, you may find the following information helpful to understand how your claim has been handled, who has been making the decisions on your claim and what are the next steps you should take.

The Social Security decision-making process is complicated and time-consuming. When you file your Initial Application for benefits, your case is first reviewed by the Social Security Administration to confirm you meet all the technical requirements for receiving benefits, for example whether or not you have enough work credits, and/or whether you meet the income/asset criteria for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), if you do not have enough work credits or quarters.

The application is then reviewed by someone at an office called Disability Determination Service (DDS), which reviews the medical information concerning your claim. A DDS decision maker will request medical records from physicians you have seen. Doctors who work for DDS are supposed to review the medical records DDS obtains from your medical providers. After approximately four to six months, DDS will issue a decision based on the opinion of the DDS doctor who reviewed your medical records.

Many people who apply for benefits are denied after their application is reviewed at DDS. Possible reasons are: DDS did not receive records from your doctor, or the records which were received did not arrive by DDS's deadline for review. Also of significance is the fact many claimant's medical records NEVER mention the claimant's physical, mental, or work related activity limitations.

Once DDS makes a decision, DDS mails a letter which states why you were denied. The letter may state you are disabled, but not disabled enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Keep in mind you may appeal the decision. The DDS letter also advises your appeal must be filed within 60 days. 

If you have not done so already, this is a good time to contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits in any part of the State of Maryland, District of Columbia, State of Delaware, or Northern Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, or Southeastern Pennsylvania, you may speak to a nurse-attorney and receive a FREE case evaluation by calling (800) 701-4945 or (410) 433-4040 or completing the contact form on this page.

If you prefer to appeal the decision on your own and need forms you may visit or call an office or the Social Security Administration, or go to its website. You may also appeal online.

The first appeal a person files is called "Reconsideration." You will have to complete an eight page form which asks about changes in your conditions as well as the contact information of your medical providers. Your completed paperwork is supposed to be sent by the Social Security Administration to DDS for review.

The Reconsideration process can take four to six months. If your case is denied at the Reconsideration level, you will receive a letter with a brief explanation along with information stating you have a right to appeal. To appeal at this level a request for a hearing is filed. You will also have to complete the same eight page form again. 

You have only 60 days from the date typed/stamped on the denial notice to file an appeal. If you fail to appeal within 60 days, you will have to begin the application process over again, unless you can persuade the Social Security Administration you have "Good Cause," for late filing.

If you file an appeal and request a hearing, you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your request. It may take 12-24 months to have a hearing scheduled. During this waiting period your file will be transferred to a Social Security hearing office called the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

At some point you will receive a Notice stating the Social Security Administration will contact you 20 days prior to scheduling a hearing. This letter does NOT mean you will have a hearing in 20 days. It just means when your claim is scheduled, you will have at least 20 days notice.

The application process for Social Security benefits is a lengthy and difficult one. Many people do not file any appeals, because they think it takes too much work, and/or they are frustrated and do not have the energy to keep fighting. That is a good reason to contact a Social Security disability attorney.

Many people who file a Reconsideration appeal and are denied do not appeal and request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, because they feel they must not deserve benefits if they have been denied twice. This is not at all true. You must keep fighting. If you do not have the energy contact a qualified Social Security disability lawyer.

Some people believe they can present their case to a judge without having an attorney assist them. However, people who are assisted by an attorney obtain benefits more often than those people who are unassisted. 

Levian Legal makes sure all appeals and medical records are submitted on time, so that cases are not denied or dismissed for avoidable reasons. In addition, we make sure your medical records, including recent treatment, are sent to the judge at the correct address prior to the hearing date.

Levian Legal receives no attorney fee up front. Only if we obtain benefits for you, and then only, if we obtain retroactive benefits, also known as past due benefits, do we receive an attorney fee.

That fee is 25% of the retroactive benefits received. We do not receive any portion of your current or future benefits. The 25% fee is capped at $6,000. 

If you receive $100.00 in retroactive benefits, the most we receive is $25. If we obtain for you $40,000.00 in retroactive benefits, the most we can receive is $6,000.00.

You may want to gamble on your ability to obtain Social Security disability benefits without the assistance of a skilled and experienced attorney. But, if you have any doubts, consider the following: your receiving 75% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

If you choose Levian Legal to assist you with your claim for Social Security disability benefits, you will have a nurse-attorney, with over 17 years of experience assisting people obtain Social Security disability benefits, working for you.


"Must Have" To Win 

Your Claim For Social Security Disability Benefits

There are criteria or qualifications you must meet to succeed in a claim for Social Security disability benefits. If you have a medical condition which does not meet the criteria of the Social Security Administration, you are not eligible for Social Security disability benefits and you will not obtain Social Security disability benefits. If you have a medical condition which meets the criteria for Social Security disability benefits, but you do not meet the "non-medical" criteria for eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, you will not obtain Social Security disability benefits. You should speak to an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney to ensure you have all necessary qualifications for eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

Medical evidence is vital to your claim. The quantity of evidence is not as important as the quality. Differentiating quality medical evidence is best left to an attorney with a medical background and experience with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security application process is lengthy and frustrating. There is no point in going through the process if you do not do everything you can to increase your chance of succeeding and obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Applicants have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by retaining an attorney to assist with a claim. An attorney may not charge an up front fee for assisting with a claim for Social Security disability benefits. A Social Security disability lawyer may not charge you up front to discuss your claim, or to assist you to complete your forms. In fact, an attorney assisting or representing you in a claim for Social Security disability benefits may not be paid unless you (the "claimant"), are awarded Social Security disability benefits, and the award includes retroactive ("past due") benefits. 

Many people mention "the guy down the street who has nothing wrong with him and is getting Social Security disability benefits." Beware, the environment, or mood at Social Security does not favor, or make it easy for claimants to obtain Social Security disability benefits. An experienced attorney whose practice focuses on representing people with claims for Social Security disability benefits is the best person to advise you about the qualifications you must have to succeed with your claim for Social Security disability benefits. An attorney who focuses on the practice of Social Security disability law interacts daily with representatives of local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices, the State Agency (Disability Determination Service) which is contracted by the SSA to review your medical records, Social Security Administration judges ("ALJ's"), and other SSA government representatives and officials. This is important for you, the claimant, because the daily experiences of your Social Security disability lawyer are a tremendous source of up-to-the-minute information as you pursue your struggle for Social Security disability benefits. 

An attorney who is a nurse is uniquely qualified to advise you and your medical providers about the medical evidence necessary to win your claim for Social Security disability benefits. The construction of your medical evidence is significant to your claim. An attorney who is a nurse has a superior level and understanding of the medical side of your claim. In addition an attorney who is a nurse communicates knowledgeably and effectively with your medical providers. The attorney who is a nurse and focuses on Social Security disability law has a specialized body of knowledge and will ensure that you understand the criteria you must have to be medically and non-medically qualified for Social Security disability benefits. You owe it to yourself to obtain the best advice possible. You are in the position to obtain this advice without paying a fee up front. A Social Security disability attorney may not charge you a fee up front. When you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, and if your award includes retroactive/past due benefits, then, and only then, will the Social Security disability lawyer receive an attorney fee. The fee is deducted from your retroactive benefits by the Social Security Administration before the check is sent to you.

An experienced Social Security disability lawyer who is also a registered nurse, whose practice is devoted to Social Security disability benefits law and who attends hundreds of Social Security disability benefits hearings per year has up-to-date information about the application process, the medical review system, as well as the judges who may decide your claim. If you need Social Security disability benefits then you need an experienced Social Security disability lawyer. The lawyer you need is in the trenches with the Social Security Administration every working day fighting for people just like you (no, you are not alone), and obtaining benefits for them. You need the experienced Social Security disability benefits lawyer who knows Social Security disability law, has a medical background and knows the medicine, and who will not stop fighting for you until the fight is finished. You need to pick up the phone today and say hello to your Social Security disability nurse- attorney (800) 701-4945, or (410) 433-4040, or complete the contact form on the upper right side of this page.


End Stage Terminal and Life Threatening Conditions

Do you have a life threatening disease, such as end stage kidney failure, or terminal cancer? If so, you do not have to endure the wait and otherwise lengthy application process for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has measures in place to expedite the processing of claims for people who are terminally ill or suffering end state illness. For more information, contact Levian Legal.

Karen Levian is a compassionate and experienced Social Security disability lawyer. She is also a registered nurse with many years of experience assisting people who are critically ill. As a nurse, Karen Levian combines years of medical experience with over 16 years of experience representing people with claims for Social Security disability benefits. Skillfully and passionately she advocates for the rights of those who no longer have the will or strength to fight for themselves.

Act today and call the Social Security disability lawyer who will, FREE of charge, answer all the Social Security disability questions you have. Discuss with this lawyer and nurse all your concerns related to your claim for Social Security disability benefits. 

Spend the rest of your days as peacefully as possible. We know the law, the medicine, and the system and can take your claim from here. Receive your FREE consultation today. Call (800) 701-4945 or (410) 433-4040 or complete the contact form on this page.

Your claim for Social Security disability benefits and your peace of mind are our priorities.

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