When you’re unable to work due to physical or mental limitations, it can be very stressful. When this happens, it’s important to do everything that you can to get on disability. This isn’t always going to be an easy process, due to the fact that disability law is very complicated. Take a look at the following five reasons why you need a lawyer to help with disability.
1. You Don’t Have to Pay Them Upfront
Perhaps the biggest reason why people avoid hiring lawyers is that they’re afraid that they can’t afford them. Most disability lawyers won’t require payment upfront. They’ll simply take a small cut of your first settlement check as compensation. This means that you can make use of their services without having money.
If you don’t happen to win your disability case, then you won’t owe them anything at all. This is very convenient for people who are in a financial bind. If you don’t have money, you’re still going to be able to find a lawyer that can help you out.
2. They Understand the Ins and Outs of the Law
Of course, you know that disability law is incredibly complicated and that an average person with no legal background isn’t going to grasp the intricacies of the law. For this reason, you need a legal professional who understands the ins and outs of the law. They’re going to be able to take the right actions and they’ll always know what to do next.
Your lawyer isn’t going to get caught off guard by anything. They’ve helped many people who are in the same situation you are in right now. When you get the help of a skilled legal professional, you’ll be able to feel far more at ease.
3. They’ll Act on Your Behalf
You don’t have to worry about things when you have disability lawyers to rely on. They’re going to be working for you so that everything gets taken care of. You aren’t going to have to run around or make phone calls. They’ll be taking care of all of the paperwork and you won’t have to be nearly as stressed out about things.
4. You’ll Be Able to Get Better Results
Trying to get on disability without a lawyer certainly isn’t going to be easy. You might wind up getting denied several times and becoming frustrated. Some people even wind up giving up on the process. Don’t let yourself give up on getting what you deserve when lawyers can get you better results.
When you have a lawyer on your side, it makes things so much easier to deal with. You’ll be able to get things taken care of properly and they’ll get you your disability settlement faster than you could on your own. Disability lawyers have great track records and the success rates are far better for those who have lawyers. This is reason enough to hire one.
5. You Need to Get Your Disability Now
You likely already understand how imperative it is to get your disability settlement as soon as possible. When you’re unable to earn a living, you’re going to be at risk of financial ruin. Hiring a lawyer can help you to get your disability settlement faster, so you should hire one so that the process doesn’t drag on for too long. You can’t afford to wait, so it makes sense to make the call to the legal professionals as soon as possible.
After reading the five reasons above, it should be obvious that hiring a lawyer is going to be very beneficial to you. Take the time to consider whether or not you need to make that call. If you want to get your disability settlement, then it’s definitely going to be a good idea.
If you were injured or diagnosed with a chronic illness and can’t work anymore, then applying for Social Security Disability is probably in your future. Social Security Disability can provide an income when you are no longer able to work and after being approved, you may be eligible for other benefits, like Medicare.
Social Security Disability Horror Stories
You may have heard horror stories about your friend or neighbor who applied and was denied 2 or 3 times and it took 3 years to finally get approved. The horror stories you’ve heard have a basis in fact. In 2017, over 2 million people applied for Social Security Disability. Only approximately 30% were approved after initially applying. The statistics get even more grim: at the first appeal (called the Reconsideration), approximately 88% were denied. The next appeal is called a Request for a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Nationwide, 46% of those who requested a hearing were approved by a judge after having a hearing. So, your chances are better when you get before a judge – that’s the good news.
How Long Does the SSDB Process Take?
As you probably guessed and have likely heard, this process can take quite a while – that’s the bad news. After you initially apply, it takes around 4-6 months to get a decision. After you request Reconsideration, it goes back to the same office that reviewed your case initially. It takes about the same amount of time to get a decision as it did the first time around – roughly 4-6 months. Once you file your Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, it takes anywhere from 12-24 months to actually get a hearing. So, from when you initially apply to your hearing could be 3 years.
Social Security Disability Appeal
If the judge denies your case, then the next appeal is to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is in Falls Church, Va and they only review cases, they don’t hold hearings. The Appeals Council can send it back to the judge (a remand), approve your case and award benefits, or deny your case. It can take 24 months to get a decision from the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council denies your case, then the next appeal is to file a civil claim in Federal Court. Roughly 50% of cases filed in Federal Court are sent back (remanded) to the Social Security Administration for a new hearing.
Should I Hire a Disability Lawyer?
You are more likely to get approved if you are represented throughout the process. Social Security attorneys are required to work on a contingent fee basis and Social Security sets the fees that an attorney can charge. The current authorized fees are: 25% of the client’s back pay up to $6,000. Attorneys can pass along charges that they incur obtaining your medical records in addition to the fees charged. That means that if you don’t win, your attorney doesn’t get paid, but you may still owe your attorney fees for medical records. Your attorney’s fees will come out of your back pay and are paid directly from the Treasury, so you probably won’t have to write a check to your attorney for fees.
Stick With It!
Applying for Social Security Disability can be a long process, but if you can stick with it, it can give you much-needed income when you are unable to work.
About the Author
Martha Yancey is an attorney and an active member of the State Bars of California and Georgia. She owns and operates Yancey Disability, Inc. located in Encinitas, CA and exclusively practices Social Security Disability. She is the author if The Applicant’s Guide to Social Security Disability, available on Amazon. You can find her at www.helpwithdisability.net or at firstname.lastname@example.org