Few things are more stressful than becoming disabled as the result of an illness or accident. Between coping with a serious health issue and the financial strain of being unable to work, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. You may wonder if you need a lawyer to receive disability benefits. While having legal representation isn’t required, hiring an experienced disability lawyer is highly recommended for many reasons.Do You Have a Case?
Whether you are applying for the first time or appealing a denial, you will have a better outcome with an experienced lawyer on your side. Statistics show that applicants who use attorneys are more likely to have their claims approved than those who apply on their own. And, it is even more important to hire a lawyer if your initial claim has been denied. You will significantly increase your likelihood of succeeding at an appeals hearing when you are represented by a knowledgeable lawyer.
Yes, it’s a good idea to use a lawyer for your initial application. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a large percentage of first-time applications. And, the major reason is incomplete medical records and insufficient documentation.
Further, if your claim is denied, you may have to wait a year for an appeals hearing. When a lawyer helps complete your application, your odds of being approved the first time are greatly increased.
A disability lawyer will make sure your application contains the information the SSA requires in order to approve your benefits. In addition, if your claim is denied, you will already have an advocate who is ready to fight for the benefits you deserve.
If your claim is denied, you are entitled to file an appeal with the SSA. However, this is a complicated process with strict deadlines and filing requirements.
You will achieve a more successful outcome when you use a skilled disability lawyer who knows how to navigate the complex appeals process. And, if your case is scheduled for a hearing, a disability lawyer knows what it takes to present a winning case. What’s more, a lawyer knows what questions a judge is most likely to ask and will prepare you accordingly.
Finally, if the SSA is disputing your claim, they are likely to have expert witnesses to defend the denial. Therefore, you need a lawyer who knows how to obtain and prepare witnesses whose testimony will best support your case.
The Social Security disability program can be confusing to first-time applicants. Therefore, it’s a good idea to enlist the aid of a disability lawyer before you apply for benefits.
There are two basic types of disability benefits: Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security disability (SSD) is also known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI).
These benefits are for workers who have a long-term disabling injury or illness and meet the other criteria established by the SSA.
The second category is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is need-based. These benefits are provided to disabled children and adults with limited income who meet specific eligibility requirements.
Social Security disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they collect a fee only after your disability claim is resolved. Their fees are taken directly out of the back pay you receive when your case is won. This means you should not have to pay any up-front fees or retainers.
With limited exceptions, attorneys cannot receive fees greater than $6,000, or 25% of the client’s back pay, whichever is less.
There are definite advantages to choosing a disability lawyer over a representative or advocate who is not an attorney.
First, lawyers must graduate from an accredited law school and pass a rigorous state bar exam.
In addition, a lawyer is obligated to maintain attorney-client privilege, which means that all of your communication is strictly confidential. While non-lawyer representatives may maintain confidentiality, they are not legally bound to do so.
Furthermore, if your case proceeds to court, a seasoned lawyer will have the necessary trial experience to present a winning case.
And, if your case is appealed to a federal district court, a non-attorney advocate will not be able to represent you.
An attorney can help you receive your benefits more quickly in a couple of ways.
A lawyer will make sure your application includes all the necessary medical and employment records required by the SSA. This means the SSA is less likely to deny your claim or return it you for additional information is needed. These situations can delay your claim for several months or longer.
Additionally, there are circumstances wherein the SSA will actually expedite disability claims through its Compassionate Allowances program. Veterans or those with certain medical conditions may qualify for this expedited processing. However, claimants must meet specific requirements and deadlines in order to qualify. Therefore, it’s best to consult a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the Social Security system to obtain the best result.
Further, a lawyer can help people in other special categories receive disability benefits. This includes those who have visual impairments but do not meet the SSA’s legal definition of blindness.
A skilled disability lawyer can also assist eligible widows, widowers and children who are disabled to obtain increased benefits.
Social Security law is complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.Do You Have a Case?
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety and comfort of your home.
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