Harris Law Group, LLP

When a person chooses a lawyer he should look for a firm that has experience, knowledge and trust. Richard T. Harris founded this firm to protect the rights of people wrongly injured due to the fault of others.

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Firm Overview

As we have grown to one of the largest firms in New York handling Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability we have not forgot about what has made our firm sucessful-- giving each client the personal attention they deserve.

Experience, knowledge and trust solidify our reputation. We appear daily at the Worker's Compensation Board and have a reputation for fighting aggressively for our clients and obtaining every last cent. As a result, we constantly obtain favorable decisions.

Each year, our attorneys represent thousands of clients before the Workers Compensation Board and Social Security Administration to obtain maximum benefits for our clients. Judges know us and insurance carriers know us. Our firm has the advantage of an established Workers Compensation and Social Security benefits department working side by side. This benefit is immeasurable since many people as a result of on the job accidents are unable to ever return to work. By helping our clientys apply for Social Security Disability, we are able to obtain additional income for our clients that will supplement the difference between their Worker's Compensation check and what they were earning before their accident. In addition, we provide free legal counseling from our of counse personal injury attorneys who are available to answer all questions regarding possible third party actions. Many times, you can have a personal injury case in addition to a Worker's Compensation claim out of the same accident. Many times our experts are able to discover potential law suits that other attorneys failed to realize. This is important, as some statute of limitations are as short as 90 days for filing a claim!

Clients and attorneys recommend us with confidence, knowing their friends and family will receive the best legal representation. In fact, our number one referral source are our thousands of satisfied clients. Our professional, and courteous staff is always accessible by phone and email.

We speak Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Bengali & Hindi and give free consultations and meet with clients in either of our two offices conveniently located in Queens & Brooklyn. For clients unable to travel due to their injuries, an attorney will come to meet you at your home or hospital. Be careful-- many attorneys advertise that they handle Worker's Compensation cases. However, many will sign your case and then refer it to another attorney to handle. Before signing with any attorney, ask if they will be personally representing you. We personally represent every client that we retain and we will always be there for you every step of the way.

Main Office

Main Office
96-14 63rd Drive
Suite 500
Rego Park  NY  11374

Phone
  • 718-275-3660
Fax
  • 718-275-3405

Other Offices

  • Brooklyn office
    308 Atlantic Ave.
    Suite 200
    Brooklyn,  NY  11201
SSDI
When a person chooses a lawyer he should look for a firm that has experience, knowledge and trust. Richard T. Harris founded this firm to protect the rights of people wrongly injured due to the fault of others.
As we have grown to one of the largest firms in New York handling Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability we have not forgot about what has made our firm sucessful-- giving each client the personal attention they deserve.

Experience, knowledge and trust solidify our reputation. We appear daily at the Worker's Compensation Board and have a reputation for fighting aggressively for our clients and obtaining every last cent. As a result, we constantly obtain favorable decisions.

Each year, our attorneys represent thousands of clients before the Workers Compensation Board and Social Security Administration to obtain maximum benefits for our clients. Judges know us and insurance carriers know us. Our firm has the advantage of an established Workers Compensation and Social Security benefits department working side by side. This benefit is immeasurable since many people as a result of on the job accidents are unable to ever return to work. By helping our clientys apply for Social Security Disability, we are able to obtain additional income for our clients that will supplement the difference between their Worker's Compensation check and what they were earning before their accident. In addition, we provide free legal counseling from our of counse personal injury attorneys who are available to answer all questions regarding possible third party actions. Many times, you can have a personal injury case in addition to a Worker's Compensation claim out of the same accident. Many times our experts are able to discover potential law suits that other attorneys failed to realize. This is important, as some statute of limitations are as short as 90 days for filing a claim!

Clients and attorneys recommend us with confidence, knowing their friends and family will receive the best legal representation. In fact, our number one referral source are our thousands of satisfied clients. Our professional, and courteous staff is always accessible by phone and email.

We speak Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Bengali & Hindi and give free consultations and meet with clients in either of our two offices conveniently located in Queens & Brooklyn. For clients unable to travel due to their injuries, an attorney will come to meet you at your home or hospital. Be careful-- many attorneys advertise that they handle Worker's Compensation cases. However, many will sign your case and then refer it to another attorney to handle. Before signing with any attorney, ask if they will be personally representing you. We personally represent every client that we retain and we will always be there for you every step of the way.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits benefits are designed to replace income lost due to a serious and long-term medical condition, which prevents you from continuing to earn money from work, whether you are collecting Workers Compensation as a result of an on-the-job injury, or out of work due to a serious medical condition. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD / SSI) benefits, the condition that prevents you from working must be expected to result in death or last for more than one year. If you are expected to recover from your condition in less than one year, you will not be eligible for benefits. In addition, not only must your condition prevent you from doing the work you did before you became ill or injured, but it must also prevent you from doing other work that exists in the national economy. If you develop a condition or suffer an injury that prevents you from working, Social Security Disability (SSD / SSI) benefits can be an absolute necessity.

When you are found to be disabled under Social Security Regulations, benefits are paid under one of two programs or both. If you have sufficient earnings over the ten years prior to becoming disabled, then you will be paid through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program. If you do not have sufficient earnings to qualify for SSDI benefits, then you may be able to receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This is a need-based program for individuals who are disabled. You have to demonstrate the additional non-medical eligibility for SSI benefits. This is similar to demonstrating eligibility for welfare or other forms of aid. In some cases an individual will be eligible for SSDI benefits but their benefit payment will be low enough to be eligible for some additional payments under the SSI program.

The issue of disability or the inability to perform full time work is the same for both programs. A condition, injury, or illness that prevents you from working can be physical or mental. Disability can also be established with a combination of mental and physical conditions.

Disability hearings deal mostly with either the initial or the revised determination of one’s disability or impairment. Generally, the hearing addresses the issue of whether a claimant can be considered disabled or the claimant’s determined disability must be reviewed or revised.

These hearings are often conducted by hearing officers who decides on the claimant’s issue based on medical records, work activity and sometimes, additional testimony from expert witnesses like doctors or therapist.

However, disability hearings may also be conducted based on the following reasons:

if an individual has been receiving benefits based on a medical impairment that causes him to be disabled (Title XVI cases, blind or disabled)

if the Social Security Administration has made an initial or revised determination based on medical factors, to decide whether one’s impairment is no longer a disability

if a request for reconsideration or revision of determination has been made

In some cases, disability hearings are also conducted when a claimant is no longer disabled because his/her impairment had ceased, no longer exists, or no longer disabling.

Under the law, claimants are also entitled to ask and request for reconsideration on their claims.

When a claim is denied after initial determination, a claimant may request a hearing with the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). During the hearing, a claimant may present new information and will be asked to present expert witnesses.

As the final level of administrative review in a claimant’s case, the Appeals Council may review the request for review or deny it. If the Council decides to review the claimant’s case, it may either decide on the case or return it to the ALJ for further review.

If the Appeals Council decides not to review a case or the claimant disagrees with their decision, he/ she may file a lawsuit with the federal district court.

Whether you are getting ready to file an initial application or you have already applied, been denied, and seek to appeal the denial, working with an experienced Social Security Disability (SSD / SSI) attorney can greatly increase your chances for a successful claim or appeal.

A recently filed class-action lawsuit that our firm is involved in claims that judges reviewing Social Security Appeals in Queens, New York are biased against applicants, whom the judges have systematically denied benefits by making legal and factual errors.

Filed in Federal Court in Brooklyn, the lawsuit alleges that five of the eight ALJs reviewing claims in the SSA's Queens office have engaged in the "persistent and intentional" denial of claims based on an "anti-claimant bias."

According to the New York Times, three of the Queens ALJs named in the suit rejected more than 60% of Social Security claims they reviewed from September 2010 to February 2011, while one judge in particular rejected a whopping 81% of claims reviewed during the same time. As a whole, the News Journal in Delaware reports that the Queens office had the nation's third-highest rejection rate from 2005 to 2008.

Denied Social Security applicants and their lawyers aren't the only ones complaining. The Times' Sam Dolnick reports that "federal judges have rejected scores of the Queens rulings in recent years, complaining of legal errors, 'combative' hearings and a tone that one court called 'brusque, intemperate and unhelpful.'" In 2007, the Queens office had the fifth highest percentage nationwide of decisions sent back for rehearing upon further appeal.

The outcome of the action may affect not only the plaintiffs who filed the suit, but also other Social Security applicants: the suit seeks to bar the five judges from hearing any more claims and to annul all of their decisions since 2005 in which benefits were denied.

At the Harris Law Group, we take pride in our success in assisting clients with applications and appeals for Social Security Disability (SSD / SSI) benefits. We have successfully assisted and represented clients suffering from a wide range of injuries and illnesses, all with one thing in common: they desperately needed Social Security Disability (SSD / SSI) benefits. We can help you, too.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

Experience, knowledge and trust solidify our reputation. We appear daily at the Worker's Compensation Board and have a reputation for fighting aggressively for our clients and obtaining every last cent. As a result, we constantly obtain favorable decisions.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

We speak Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Bengali & Hindi and give free consultations and meet with clients in either of our two offices conveniently located in Queens & Brooklyn. For clients unable to travel due to their injuries, an attorney will come to meet you at your home or hospital. Be careful-- many attorneys advertise that they handle Worker's Compensation cases. However, many will sign your case and then refer it to another attorney to handle. Before signing with any attorney, ask if they will be personally representing you. We personally represent every client that we retain and we will always be there for you every step of the way.

Richard Harris

Mr. Harris has been practicing Worker's Compensation and Social Security Disability Law for over 18 years. His vast experience and knowledge of the law makes him an attorney you want on your side. Prior to founding his own firm, Mr. Harris spent eight years with one of New York City's most prominent law firms. He joined the firm as an associate in January 1995 and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a partner in 1998. He started the Harris Law Group in 2002 to promote his philosophy that every client deserves personal attention and the best representation possible. He has been an active trial lawyer handling serious cases involving occupational claims, psychiatric disabilities, spine and spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, death claims, fractured bones and herniated or ruptured discs, tractor trailer and automobile accident cases, construction accidents, premises liability cases and uninsured employer cases. He also represents members of the Local 3 Electrical Workers Union before the Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. Mr. Harris prides himself on having helped countless victims and families of victims of the World Trade Center disaster collect benefits. Currently, Mr. Harris is consulting with victims to secure benefits under the Zadroga 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

In addition, he is involved in many community activities and charitable organizations. He has offered legal commentary on numerous television and radio programs and is frequently quoted in the New York Post, World
Journal and Bukharian Times. Prior to graduating law school, Mr. Harris was a Licensed Representative at the New York Worker's Compensation Board. He has also worked in the United States Congress in Washington, D.C., and as a lobbyist in Manhattan. He is actively involved with both the Brooklyn and Queens Bar Associations. In addition, he sits as a Small Claims judicial hearing officer in Queens County.

He graduated Touro Law School, after studying for a Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Mr. Harris is admitted to the bars of New York State, Federal Court, and United States Supreme Court.

In his spare time Mr. Harris enjoys baseball, the beach, restoring old cars, and spending time with his family.

Francisco Ugalde

Francisco Ugalde received his undergraduate degree, cum laude with distinction, from Boston University in 2002. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law in 2007. There, he was an Editor for the Journal of Science and Technology Law and a member of the Latin American Law School Association. He has been with the Harris Law Group his entire legal career.

Mr. Ugalde is a member of the firm's litigation practice group, focusing on workers

Tadeusz Rzonca

Known to all our clients as "Ted," Mr. Rzonca graduated Quinnipiac University Law School and has been with the Harris Law Group since he was admitted to practice law. He specializes in Worker's Compensation Law. Mr. Rzonca iis highly regarded by his peers in the local legal community. He is a skilled legal advocate who has won many cases and has received rave reviews from all his clients. Ted has helped many clients through difficult legal cases via his tremendous patience & dedication. He is a fearless representative in protecting client's interests. He speaks fluent Polish.

Alex Shulman

Alex Shulman received his undergraduate degree, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 2003. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School in 2007.

Mr. Shulman is a member of the firm's litigation practice group and focuses his practice in the areas of workers' compensation and social security disability. He handles all phases of litigation, from inception to trial.

Alex is very active in community groups, as well as in legal industry associations.

Prior to obtaining his law degree, Mr. Shulman was heavily involved within the civil rights sphere and served as an intern in Washington , DC at the United States Department of Commerce and the Anti-Defamation League of B

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