Knowing that most Social Security Disability claims are denied, should be motivation enough for you to never try and sort these sorts of things out on your own. Those who hire the very able help of reputable lawyers stand a much bigger chance of having their application approved.
If you do go it alone with a disability claim, are you aware of what all is entailed when you believe that you have a mental or physical disability that is preventing you from leading a normal life or even working?
- It all starts with a request for income assistance which is filed with the Social Security Administration.
- There are a number of stages with this claims process – initial, reconsideration, hearing, appeals council hearing, and Federal District Court appeal.
- You will need to fill in an SSDI or SSI application.
- It takes 3 to 5 months for your claim to be denied or approved.
- If denied, you have got 60 days to file for reconsideration. If denied again you can request a hearing so as to argue your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
It does not end there, and as you can see, it is an involved, stressful process, and before you apply for any disability benefit there are also a host of documents you need so as to make a successful claim. It is no wonder most people just mercifully hand it all over into the capable hands of an SSD lawyer.
There are very few people who have knowledge of how to prepare a disability case and what all the Social Security rules and regulations are. SSD lawyers have claim experience with a disability case and will know exactly what a judge will be looking for when it comes to asking questions about your particular medical condition.
The most favorable outcome without a Lawyer is slim
Even if you were one of the few disability claimants to win their claim going it on your own, without a lawyer, you can still win, but the chance of getting the most favorable outcome is slimmer.
Disability attorneys know how to present a case in the best light and give advice on your alleged onset date of the disability. Instead of you having to deal with all your doctors etc, your social security disability lawyer will do that for you on your behalf and collect and submit all the appropriate medical evidence, etc, and prepare everything in preparation for the judge at the hearing.
Disability Claims – improve your chances
Do not hesitate to find yourself a good disability attorney for your first free consultation. It can be such a relief handing it all over to them so that they can help you and improve your chances of success and also speed the case up.
When you are in need of representation in court due to your disability benefits application being denied, you will need to find a reputable disability lawyer. With so many experts to choose from, how can you possibly ensure that you are making the right call?
Here are the criteria to look out for
If you live in Raleigh, it will pay to opt to hire a Raleigh disability lawyer. In doing so, it will be easy to conduct meetings face to face ahead of the hearing. You will have the opportunity to get to know your attorney better which can also aid in boosting your confidence in them.
Are you aware that it is possible for non-attorney disability advocates to represent you in your claim hearing? There are some benefits that go hand in hand with this, but there are also benefits that go along with insisting that your representative is a fully licensed attorney. In the latter case, for example, they will have a better understanding of case law and the regulations relating to Social Security matters. Worried about cost? Fear not. Non-attorney disability advocates and licensed attorney tend to charge similar fees.
The realm of disability law is fairly complex, so it is definitely best to hire an attorney or advocate who has many years of expertise in this specific field. Steer clear of attorneys who practice generally as they might not be properly equipped to ensure the best possible result in court. In the long run, it will be worth it to spend that bit extra. It could mean the difference between winning and losing your case.
While you usually won’t have to pay any upfront fees to make use of the services offered by a disability lawyer, you will have to give them a certain portion of your disability back benefits should you win your case. This amount is usually estimated at 25%, but most attorneys also have a cap in place. The cap is most commonly around $6,000. If your prospective attorney is looking to charge you more than this average price, be sure to find out why their fees are higher, and whether or not it is worth the extra spend.
It is always a good idea to ask the lawyer or advocate for a list of previous cases in which they have played a significant role. Also find out their success rate and how closely related their previous cases were to yours. Some attorneys even make it possible for you to get in touch with their previous clients directly. This can be extremely helpful in terms of making your final decision.
What sort of research does the attorney undertake ahead of the court date? It is always beneficial for them to arrange a consultative examination should it be necessary and to ask for access to any medical information and records that you may have. The more informed they are about your case, the better your chances of winning, after all.
Your gut feeling
It is extremely important that you feel comfortable with and confident in the person who is spear-heading your case. Never simply hire a disability attorney simply because they came highly recommended or because they charge an affordable fee. If you don’t feel a connection with them or you feel a strong urge to continue your search, it is best to look for somebody more fitting.
Combine research and recommendations with your instincts and you are sure to find the perfect disability lawyer to handle your case with care and precision.
Are you wondering what conditions qualify for disability in California?
Approximately 30% of all adults in California have a temporary or permanent disability. Some have mobility issues making it hard for them to walk. Others are not able to function independently or provide for their own self-care.
Other types of disabilities range from the sight- and hearing-impaired to people who have difficulty with their cognitive functions. Your individual qualifying condition may not fall into any of these groups, but that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify.
Here’s what you need to know about how to qualify and apply for disability and what you will receive if you do qualify
What Conditions Qualify for Disability?
Any medical condition that keeps you from being able to do the regular or customary duties your job requires can qualify for disability. So long as the period lasts for eight days or more.
You can even receive disability California even if your disability results from elective or cosmetic surgery.
Your doctor or religious practitioner can make this determination provided you started treating with them within eight days of becoming disabled. To continue being eligible to receive disability payments, you must continue to be seen and cared for by your doctor or religious practitioner.
When to File for Disability
You need to file your claim for disability at any time within nine and 49 days after getting diagnosed as disabled.
If you wait to file on the 50th day or later, you may lose all or part of your disability benefits.
How to Apply for Disability
You can apply for disability online or by mail, but not both. If you apply by mail, use black ink only to fill out the forms and be sure to write clearly and legibly. Fill out only Part A of the Claimant’s Statement and read the instructions carefully to ensure you include all the information requested.
Even if you think you may not qualify for disability payments, there is no penalty for applying for them and letting the EDD make the final determination. Some government workers do qualify either under their collective bargaining agreements or because they also work with a private employer.
How Your Disability Payment is Calculated
How much you are paid weekly while on disability depends on how much money you earned in the base period. This base period is the period between 5 to 18 months prior to being disabled. You must have earned at least $300 during this base period and had the SDI tax taken out on your paychecks.
If your employer pays you for vacation, sick or holiday pay during the period you are disabled, it does not affect your disability payment.
Determine When You Need to Apply
Now that you know what conditions qualify for disability, it is time to figure out when you need to file your claim. If you meet the requirements, you need to file your claim no more than 49 days from becoming disabled. If it has been at least 8 days, you can file your claim today.
Looking for more great articles about your health? You will find them on our website.
Americans of all demographics rely on the promise of social security for their senior years. If you’re one of these Americans, you’ve likely relied on the promise of these funds for many years. That is why putting in a claim for social security and getting denied can feel like a huge blow.
It happens to plenty of people, however. If you’ve had your claim denied by the federal government, you need to seek the assistance of a social security disability attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to appeal your case and fight for you to get the money you need.
When is the right time to hire this kind of help?
Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know
How Social Security Works
When should you hire one of the many hard-working social security disability attorneys out there? It depends on the particulars of your situation. The more you understand how social security works and why you might need help, the better sense you’ll have about the right time to hire help.
Understanding the laws regarding social security will also allow you to better communicate with an attorney and explain your situation.
The basics of social security are quite clear: these payments are intended for Americans who have a medical condition that could be considered a disability. In this case, disability refers to any sort of condition that would prevent an individual from being able to do long-term work.
If you are able to go to work or have some sort of income still coming in, you would not be eligible for social security disability payments.
The other major requirement individuals need to meet to be approved? You need to have worked in positions at some point that paid into the social security fund. If you were employed and saw a small percentage of your paycheck go to social security costs, you should be eligible for the fund as you reach your older years.
If you’ve never paid into social security, you likely won’t be able to access the benefits now.
The majority of social security denials result from disputes over a person’s disability status This is where a social security disability attorney can step in and provide assistance.
When Should You Seek Legal Help?
You might be at various different stages of the social security process when reading this post. You might have already been denied by the government, or you might not yet have submitted your first claim request.
When is the right time to get an attorney on your case, especially if an attorney will be able to help your odds of getting accepted?
That really depends on you. You certainly aren’t required to have an attorney when applying for aid. However, you have to accept that the odds are not in your favor. Most people who apply for social security benefits without an attorney are rejected on their initial attempt.
If you want to save time and have money from the fund coming to you sooner, it might be worth hiring an attorney before you even apply the first time.
However, if you think your case is a very clear one, it might be worth waiting to see if you get a denial before hiring an attorney. If you do get accepted the first time, you’ll have saved yourself the cost of the attorney’s services.
There are pros and cons to both sides of the equation. The best thing you can do is get a sense of how difficult your particular case might be and move from there.
Interview Potential Attorneys
Once you’ve decided when to hire an attorney for your social security case, how do you decide on who the right individual for your case is?
There are a number of questions worth asking before officially hiring someone to represent you during this process.
For example, how long has that attorney been practicing law? How long, specifically, have they worked in the area of social security? The more years of experience an attorney has under their belt, the better prepared they will be to handle your case.
An experienced attorney has likely seen a wide range of scenarios before and will know what strategy will be best for a variety of different cases. They will know the best way to present the facts of your case so as to ensure your acceptance.
They might even have existing relationships with judges or government officials that they can use to your benefit.
There’s also your budget to keep in mind, of course! You will want to hire an attorney that won’t break the bank, especially during this tough financial time. How does the attorney you’re hoping to hire plan on charging you? Some lawyers charge by the hour, others work totally pro-bono. Make sure to ask.
Overall, it’s important to trust your instincts when picking a lawyer out. Working through the social security application process can be long and complicated, and you want to have someone on your side you like and can trust.
Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney
If you’re preparing to apply for social security, you might want to consider hiring a social security disability attorney. This legal expert will help increase the odds of succeeding in your application process. They can help you get the money you need to get by.
Need more legal advice or tips? Keep scrolling our blog for more.
While you hope you ever need disability lawyers, life is rarely perfect and you’ll run into some complications.
Making a disability claim can be overwhelming unless you understand the law. As an everyday citizen, you haven’t likely dealt with disability and what it entails. Choosing the best person to help you get the compensation you need is a must or you might lose out on money for years to come.
Continue reading this article to learn how to find a good disability lawyer.
The 411 on Finding the Best Disability Lawyers
Whether you’re looking for long term disability insurance lawyers or someone to help you get paid for a short-term disability, most disability attorneys can help you with long or short-term disabilities.
Don’t be too quick to vet attorneys. Take your time to find the right one for you. Here are some things you should ask your attorney before you consider hiring them.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Disability Lawyers
Don’t forget to ask these important questions. These questions will help you vet your potential lawyer choices.
Where are you licensed to practice law?
Asking the most basic questions is key. Ask them if they are licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. If you’ve found an attorney that you like but they aren’t able to take care of your claim because of where you’re located — you’re wasting your time.
To be practice law in your area, the attorney has to be in good standing with your state’s bar association.
What mistakes am I making as I’m filing my claim?
I’ve you’ve already started filing your claim but you can’t get approved, asking them what mistakes you’re making on your claim can help you cut through to the heart of the issue.
Should I start my claim over?
When you speak to a good disability lawyer, they will be able to tell you if you need to start over all the way or they can help you continue your claim. Allowing the attorney to take the entire case over can be the least overwhelming for you.
What is the firm’s approval rate?
Asking about the firm’s approval rating will allow you to get an overall picture of how well they’re doing. If the firm has a low approval rating — pass.
How large of a percentage of approvals are the hearing level?
Going to court can be a major hassle. Finding out how many claims have to go to court when working with this firm will give you an idea of how likely your case will have to go to court.
What percentage of wins get full benefits & what percentage get partial benefits?
A reputable firm will be able to share these stats. If they can’t tell you these things or if they seem uncomfortable sharing this information — pass.
Professionalism & Customer Service
When you’re working with an attorney, you’re likely to have many questions. The attorney should never treat you like you’re an annoyance.
Their staff should be helpful and answer your calls quickly. You don’t want to have to wait for days for a reply.
Look out for outcome promises. Attorneys cannot and should not promise outcomes.
A good attorney will review your case and only tell you what they believe they could do for you vs. telling you they can get the approval without any knowledge of your case.
The attorney you work with should be honest that they can’t make the approval committee come to a conclusion any sooner than you can on your own if you’re filing your claim the right way. The process takes as long as it takes and they can’t speed it up.
On the other hand, one of the things that can hold up your approval is not filing your claim properly so having an attorney to help you can make the process faster if they make sure you get it right.
Before you start working with an attorney, you need to know how much access you’ll have to the attorney. Find out if you’re going to be working with the attorney directly or if they’ll be handing your case off to paralegals and other people in their office.
Can I Afford a Disability Attorney?
If you’re worried about getting your hands on money so you can pay an attorney retainer — that isn’t how disability attorneys do business.
As you’re looking through your attorney choices, you’ll likely see that all disability attorneys charge almost the same rate across the board. The attorney’s fee has to be approved by the Social Security judge and is taken out of your back pay for social security disability benefits.
If you don’t get an award of benefits then you don’t owe anything to the attorney you’re working with. Attorney fees are capped at 25% or a maximum of $6,000.
After the initial 25% payment of back pay of benefits with a maximum of $6,000, your benefits will come to you in full in the future. You don’t have to worry about giving a continuous payment to the attorney for helping you with your case since this is illegal and not permitted by the Social Security Administration.
The Legal Information You Need at Your Fingertips
Going through the process of getting disability benefits don’t have to drive you up a wall when you work with highly qualified disability lawyers.
Now that you know how to choose the best attorney for your case, why not continue your education? We have many articles for your law-related questions.
Navigate to your favorite section of our site, drop a bookmark and come back soon for more great reads.
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