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Steven H. Berniker is a Sacramento-based attorney that has been practicing in the State of California since 1990. Specializing in Family Law, Workers’ Compensation and Social Security matters, Steven H. Berniker has a passion for getting you the privileges and benefits that you deserve. If you need the help of a skilled attorney, call 916-860-7302.

Steven H. Berniker attended the University of California, Berkeley, double majoring in both ancient world history and legal studies. He was awarded his Bachelors of Arts degree in 1986.

Soon after graduation, Steven attended Hastings College of Law and in 1990 received his Bar Certification to practice law in the State of California. Soon thereafter, Mr. Berniker opened his general practice focusing on Family Law. Steven’s experience in Family Law includes issues such as grandparent visitation, child support, spousal support, restraining orders, division of property and much more. Steven’s focus is on helping clients understand the options available to them. He is there to address the reality of their situations and to implement strategic choices through creative and skilled counseling. His emphasis on practical problem solving leads to healthy negotiation and courtroom advocacy.

Involved in a number of volunteer opportunities, Mr. Berniker has been firmly placed in the public eye. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Rebis Institute, which is a non-profit organization for the assistance of disabled adults entering the work force. He has volunteered as an attorney with the Disability Rights Defense Fund (DREDF), as well as the Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE), groups focusing primarily on the delivery of special education services to children within the public school system. Both school districts and the organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) have requested that he appear as an educational speaker.
 

Best Deal In Town
Only $170.00/hour

Marital and family law can require extra care and consideration because of the emotional aspects involved in dissolving marriages, child custody and property division. Steven H. Berniker has over 15 years of experience in marital law and family law. When you are involved in a divorce, emotions and feelings can be deeply intertwined in every aspect of the case, and I fully understand these circumstances.

Divorce can be very difficult. You and your family can greatly benefit from the knowledge and experience of a divorce attorney. As a skilled divorce lawyer I will work with you to give you the options you need during this chapter of your life. I understand that this time could be one of the most difficult and traumatic times in your life and your family’s lives. That is why I want to offer you the support, attention and consideration that you deserve. I have dedicated part of my practice to supporting families. If you have a case involving any of the following areas, I can offer you experienced legal advice, support and representation:

Contact us today if you need legal assistance with any of the following:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Visitation
  • Property Rights
  • Property Division
  • Alimony
  • Domestic Violence
  • Juvenile Law
  • Collaborative Divorce
  • Modification of Child Support
  • Modification of Child Custody
  • Modification of Alimony
  • Grandparents’ Rights
  • Enforcement of Court Orders
  • Enforcement of Settlement Agreements
  • Relocation of Children

I am dedicated to helping families go through these procedures with a problem-solving attitude. I am cooperative and respectful to the other side of the case in order to help smooth the process as much as possible. Your life is already facing turmoil, and I believe that a competent and caring attorney can assist you best by working together with you to focus on what you need and want from the entire process of your case, whether it involves child custody, alimony, visitation rights, divorce or any other aspect of family law.

Child custody is one of the family law issues that families are often most concerned about. I am well-versed in every aspect of child custody law in California and will be able to help you through even the most difficult and confusing situations. I are dedicated to providing you with the smoothest possible resolution to your custody, divorce or family law issue.

At the Berniker Law Office we understand that sometimes cooperative efforts toward an amicable settlement are thwarted or impossible. That is why you want a seasoned divorce lawyer with the experience, aggressiveness and confident attitude that only years of trial litigation can bring. Our main goal is always to uphold your legal rights in your family law case, and I will tirelessly advocate those inalienable rights with every step we take in your case. I want to help and support you through this difficult time in your life. Call me today at 916-860-7302, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange your free initial consultation.

Workers Compensation

Workplace injuries are not always what people would usually think of as a dangerous workplace condition. Workers can be injured in many ways in a variety of occupations. An injury may occur in seconds or can manifest themselves over a period of time.

Common types of worker compensation injuries are:

  • Repetitive stress injury (RSI)
  • Lifting injury
  • Back injury and neck injury
  • Rotator cuff tears or shoulder injury
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Elbow or knee injury
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Herniated disc
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chemical burns

Worker Compensation Rights: If you are injured in the workplace, under the law you may have:

  • The right to receive temporary disability
  • The right to compensation for suffering a permanent injury
  • The right to proper medical care
  • The right to seek retraining benefits
  • The right to change doctors

If you or someone you know feels they have a Workers Compensation case, call me at 916-860-7302. The consultation is free.

Social Security

HOW DO WE HELP?

Your case, if chosen, will considerably limit your contact with SSA; thus, relieving you of a lot of unnecessary stress. Moreover, you stay at home; while we do the work. We complete the application, obtain medical records, and we prepare and develop your case in the fashion most likely to lead to an award of social security benefits. If it becomes necessary for you to appear before an administrative law judge, we will thoroughly prepare you. We draft your theory of the case letter and if necessary draft your complete comprehensive pre-trial brief.

HOW ARE WE PAID?

We do not collect a fee unless we help you win your claim. Fees are capped by statute. If we win, our fee is 25% of your retroactive benefits, or $6,000.00…whichever is less. You have nothing to lose by asking us to represent you.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

It is commonly known that approximately 10% of all claims for disability benefits are accepted at the initial application level. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your disability claim, which is likely, at the initial application level, we will pursue your claim thru the three-stage administrative review process.

The second stage is reconsideration de novo by SSA. At this stage, a different Social Security bureaucrat reviews your case. Not surprisingly, at this level, only a very few cases win social security benefits.

At the third stage you are entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge. If you go through the first two steps, you should apply for a hearing. It is best to apply for a hearing because the majority of claims that win do so at the hearing level. That is why we on your behalf write a theory of the case letter and draft a comprehensive pre-trial brief.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a step by step evaluation process to ensure uniformity and efficiency of disability determinations. Understanding the evaluation process is particularly acute because SSA decides more than 2 million claims for disability benefits each year, of which more than 200,000 are reviewed by administrative law judges. GETTING SOCIAL SECURITY STEP BY STEP You can make a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you have been disabled for 12 months, or your disability is expected to last at least 12 months, or your disability is expected to cause death. You can begin the development of your claim by going to the local Social Security Administration Office.  Other requirements are that you must be under age 65, have medical evidence to support your claim, and have worked five out of the last 10 years and paid Social Security FICA taxes. For SSI the past work requirement is unecessary. My understanding to the step by step evaluation process identifies at an early stage those claimants whose medical impairments are so slight that it is unlikely they would be found to be disabled even if their age, education, and experience were taken into account. Similarly, step three streamlines the decision process by identifying those claimants whose medical impairments are so severe that it is likely they would be found disabled regardless of their vocational background.

Step by step analysis to determine whether you are entitled to social security disability benefits: Step one; determine whether you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” In 2008 an  individual was engaged in substantial gainful activity if he or she earned more than $940.00 per month. If you earn $940.00 per month, disability benefits will be denied. (See404.1520(b), 416.920(b)). If you do not make more than $940.00 per month, the decision-maker proceeds to step two, which determines whether the claimant has a “medically severe impairment” or combination of impairments. In other words, you must show an inability to do basic work activities because of  a determinable physical or mental impairment via acceptable medial and /or diagnostic testing. “If you do not have any impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits your physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, Social Security will find that you do not have a severe impairment and are, therefore, not disabled. To make this determination, Social Security “will not consider your age, education, and work experience.” 7404.1520(c), 416.920(c)

The ability to do basic work activities is defines as “the abilities and aptitudes necessary to do most jobs.” 404.1521(b), 416.921(b). Such abilities and aptitudes include, but are not limited to, physical functions such as walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying, or handling; capacities for seeing, hearing, and understanding, carrying out, and remembering simple instructions; use of judgment; responding appropriately to supervision, coworkers, and usual work situations; and dealing with changes in a routine work setting. (See 404.1521(b), 416.921(b)) If you do not have a severe impairment or combination or impairments, the disability claim is denied.

If the impairment is severe, the evaluation proceeds to the third step, which determines whether the impairment is equivalent to one of a number of listed impairments that the Social Security acknowledges, are so severe as to preclude substantial gainful activity. 404.1520(d), 416.920(d); 20 CFR pt. 404, subpt. P. App. 1 (1986). If the impairment meets or equals one of the listed impairments, the claimant is conclusively presumed to be disabled. A finding that you meet or equals a listed impairment requires Social Security to find that you are eligible for disability benefits regardless of your vocational background.

If the impairment is not one that is conclusively presumed to be disabling, the evaluation process to the fourth step, which determines whether the impairment prevents you from performing work you performed in the past. If you are able to perform your previous work, you are not disabled. 404.1520(e), 404.920(e). If you cannot perform your previous work, the fifth and final step of the process determines whether you are able to perform other work in the national economy view of your age, education, and work experience. The claimant is entitled to disability benefits only if he is not able to perform other work. 404.1520(f), 416.920(f).

Once you qualify for Social Security benefits, SSA will make a determination whether you qualify for a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As noted above, both programs have identical definitions of being disabled.

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