The Law Office of Michael A. Bell in Lewiston, Maine
Specializing in Social Security Disability, Maine PERS, and Worker’s Compensation
We believe in every person’s essential humanity, and that for anyone who seeks our help, it is our responsibility to assist them on the path to the improvement and restoration of their dignity, self-respect, health, and financial independence. We will suggest ways to achieve these goals. We will treat everyone with compassion and respect, and do our best to understand each individual’s unique life story, in order to work with our clients to share that story in an effective and compelling way.
We are confident, based on over 36 years of experience, that by doing these things, we can achieve positive results for those whom we are privileged to serve. We believe there are more important things beyond simply “winning” a case, and that effective, persistent, and professional representation is the key to overall success.
what we do
We concentrate on representing people in Maine who, due to physical and/or emotional injury or illness, cannot sustain full-time work because they are disabled. We do so in three areas of law: Social Security, Workers’ Compensation, and the Maine Public Employees Retirement System [Maine PERS]. By concentrating on just these three legal areas, we have become familiar with medical concepts of disability, and can better translate people's stories into successful outcomes in each of the three legal arenas, which uniquely define disability in ways that differ from each other and from how the medical community looks at things. It is possible, though rare, for a person to have a claim in all three areas at the same time, and more common that a worker will have a Social Security or Maine PERS disability claim along with a workers’ comp case. We can provide coordinated assistance on all related disability claims.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
Over 90% of what we do, and have been doing for the past 36 years, is representing people before the Social Security Administration [SSA], to assist them with their disability claims. We represent adults (age 18 to 65) who seek Social Security Disability Insurance benefits [SSD] and/or Supplemental Security Income [SSI] under their own Social Security numbers, [accounts]; children (age birth to 18) who seek Child SSI benefits; adults seeking benefits under a parent’s account, known as Disabled Adult Child benefits [DAC]; and Widow’s Disability Benefits [WDB] for individuals seeking benefits under a deceased spouse’s account. We also assist individuals who are receiving benefits but receive a Cessation letter that serves as notice that benefits are being terminated after a medical review.
We can assist you from the application process, which is often now done online, through all administrative review processes. We represent people before administrative law judges who have hearings scheduled in Portland or Augusta.
We are happy to take cases on referral from whatever source, but it must be clear that it is the individual claiming benefits that we represent. We are not representing the person, agency, or long-term disability insurance company that may have provided our name.
OUR additional SERVICES
MAINE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
We also represent State of Maine and municipal employees who have paid into and are covered by Maine PERS in their claims for disability based on physical and/or emotional injury or illness that prevent them from “permanently” performing their job. Representation can begin before application, and is provided through hearings.
MAINE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
We also provide representation to injured workers whose job injury claims, physical and/or mental, are heard before the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. We do so from mediation to hearing in Lewiston or Augusta, to assist the worker in getting wage and medical benefits that are due, and to protect the worker in dealing with insurance companies, employers, and employment specialists. We also specialize in negotiating lump sum settlements that are in the best interest of the worker, not the insurance company.
WHY WE LIMIT OURSELVES TO SOCIAL SECURITY, WORKERS’ COMP, AND Maine PERS
We have found that by limiting ourselves to concentrate in these three specialized but related areas of law, we can provide our clients with the best and most expert service, delivered in the most direct and personal way. Laws change, and it is necessary to keep up with the changes on behalf of our clients. By attempting to master only a few related areas of law, we can stay small and personal. We leave it to other firms to handle a much more general practice. However, we will always help our clients find an attorney who does other kinds of cases, just as we will help our clients find the right medical specialist to meet their health care requirements.
QUESTIONS? CHECK OUT OUR FAQ SECTION HERE.
To schedule a consultation call us today at 1-207-786-0348.