Linden & Cottrell Law Office specializes in Social Security Disability law matters and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) disability claims. Your job is to take care of yourself and your health. Ours is to deal with Social Security or your private Long Term Disability benefits insurer. We successfully represent applicants for disability claims every day and are here to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Leave the stress of dealing with Social Security or your private long term disability benefits insurer to us. Let our expert team of LTD lawyers represent you, whether it’s preparing all the paperwork necessary to file your application or starting an appeal.
David J. Linden is recognized by the State Bar of California as a Social Security Disability Law Specialist. He served as president of the Napa County Bar Association in 2007, and was a member of the Napa County Grand Jury from 2007 to 2009. David is a dedicated, competent social security disability attorney. David can help if you or someone you know is unable to work because of a long-term disability and may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits from the government.
Mr. Linden graduated from UC Santa Barbara where he majored in Political Science and minored in Philosophy. He was a member of the University’s swimming and water polo teams, excelling as an athlete and team member. After graduating from UCSB in 1964, David attended Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Charles Cottrell has been practicing law since 2001, when he graduated from the University of Washington School of Law. He completed his undergraduate degrees in German and Economics at the University of Utah.
In 2007, after several years as an associate in a mid-sized full service firm in Seattle, Mr. Cottrell began practicing exclusively in the area of Social Security disability law. He has represented well over 1,000 clients in hearings before Social Security Administrative Law Judges since that time. Chuck is currently licensed to practice in Washington State and before the Social Security Administration.
At Linden and Cottrell Law we successfully represent applicants for Social Security Disability, SSI benefits, and ERISA every day. We have years of experience. Here’s what we do to help. We work with you to have your doctor complete a statement that tells SSA or the private insurer about the nature of your disability and how it affects your functional capacity. With your help we develop evidence of your impairment from other sources, such as family members, friends, and former co-workers. We prepare all paperwork necessary to file your application or appeal.
In claims with SSA, if a hearing is required, we prepare you for the hearing so that you will have a good idea of the physical setup of the hearing room, who will be at the hearing, and what kinds of questions will be asked. In most cases, we will prepare a written statement about your case to send to the administrative law judge before the hearing so that he or she will understand what your background and circumstances are; what is your disabling impairment; how the disability affects your capacity to work on a full time, regular and sustained basis; and what medical evidence supports our case. It is our intention that, by the time you have your hearing, you will understand what is going to happen and that, when the hearing is over, you will feel that you have had the opportunity to explain fully how your life has been affected by your impairments.
If we lose at the hearing level, or if your ERISA claim is denied, you and your attorney will talk about whether further appeal might change the result. If we agree that SSA’s administrative law judge has made legal or factual errors in the decision that might have changed the outcome if she or he had gotten it right, we will file an appeal to the SSA Appeals Council. If we feel that a lawsuit is necessary to enforce your rights in your ERISA claim, we will make arrangements for the lawsuit to proceed. We have been fortunate to have to file such appeals only in a small minority of claims, but it does happen.
There is a complex, lengthy application process for those needing to apply for disability benefits. Once you have applied and submitted your application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review the application. You will be contacted if they have questions or need further documentation. SSA will either approve or deny your application. If it is denied, you have 60 days to submit an appeal application. This can be an intimidating process.
The expert team of disability lawyers at Linden and Cottrell Law in Napa, California is here to represent you, whether it’s preparing all the paperwork necessary to file your application or starting an appeal. We know what documentation is required, have experience dealing with physicians to ensure that medical records submitted to SSA or private insurers are complete, and are familiar with how the court system works. Your job is to take care of yourself and your health. Leave the stress of dealing with Social Security or your private long term disability benefits insurer to us.
Below you’ll find answers to commonly-asked questions. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please reach out to us. We’re always happy to help!
No. We currently represent clients from all over California and have represented many clients who live outside of California. We are able to represent people in front of the Social Security Administration throughout the United States. However, the majority of our clients come from Northern California: places like Monterey, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Vallejo, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Redding, Ukiah, Crescent City, and everywhere in between.
We can, but given the health problems of many of our clients, we have been particularly careful during Covid. We find communicating over the phone or even with a Zoom meeting works in most cases. It saves travel costs as well. However, at times an in-person meeting is necessary and we can facilitate that with proper precautions.
Nothing. Give us a call!
In our initial phone call, we will ask you questions about why you are applying for disability. This will include questions about your medical impairments, including both physical and mental impairments. We will ask questions about your past and current medical treatment. We will also ask about your work history. Other issues will undoubtedly arise. These questions are all questions you will be asked by Social Security in your application for disability and help us determine your potential eligibility. You don’t need to have all of that information at your finger tips when you first call, just a willingness to answer questions.
No. In fact, we often talk to people who have not yet stopped working, but are seeking advice about whether disability is something they might qualify for in the near future. We help people at all stages of the process, from initial application through any necessary appeals.
Only if they are applying for disability benefits at the same time. We do not handle claims that are for retirement benefits alone. That is usually a straightforward matter that you can handle yourself with the help of local Social Security Field Office staff.
Yes. Social Security regulations require that your claims for disability be supported by “medically determinable evidence.” This means notes from doctor visits, therapists, emergency rooms, crisis clinics, in-patient hospitalizations, physical therapists, and other potential sources. If you are not getting medical treatment, your chances of getting approved for disability benefits are low.
All too often, people wait until after they are denied benefits to contact us. Their claims might be legitimate, but are denied due to incomplete medical and vocational information, inexpertly completed applications, or wrongheaded conclusions by their medical consultants. You can avoid these problems by reaching out to Linden and Cottrell Law in Napa, California before you file a claim. We know what documentation is required, have experience dealing with physicians to ensure that medical records submitted to SSA or private insurers are complete, and are familiar with how the court system works.