If you are disabled due to an accident or medical condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are designed for individuals who can no longer work because of a physical or mental disability. However, the SSA disability program is complex, with many rules and strict eligibility criteria. What’s more, a large percentage of applications are denied, even for people who meet the legal requirements. For these and other reasons, many applicants hire disability lawyers to help them obtain the benefits they deserve. These lawyers use their specialized knowledge of the Social Security system to perform a variety of services on behalf of their clients. What does a disability lawyer actually do? Here’s a guide to help you decide whether consulting a lawyer is right for you and your family.Do You Have a Case?
A disability lawyer will review your case in detail before guiding the best way to move forward. A knowledgeable attorney knows the Social Security system inside and out, including which information is needed for a successful outcome.
During your first consultation, which is free, your lawyer will ask you many questions about your disability, your medical history and your employment record.
In addition, a lawyer will explain the various kinds of Social Security benefits and determine which program you qualify for.
When you become disabled, your world can change dramatically in a matter of hours. You (and your family) may be overwhelmed and confused about what to do first. In addition to dealing with a medical condition, applying for disability benefits presents a new set of issues.
Or, perhaps your initial claim was denied and you don’t know what your next step should be.
Here are some common questions a disability lawyer will answer for you:
You may question whether you need an attorney if you’re filing an application for the first time. The answer is yes. The majority of denials are due to incorrectly completed forms or insufficient medical information.
A qualified lawyer will make sure your application is filled out correctly and submitted in accordance with SSA deadlines and filing requirements. In addition, your lawyer will help you obtain the necessary medical and employment records so your claim can be approved the first time around.
Many applicants receive denials even when they meet the conditions set forth by the SSA. When a claim is denied, your only recourse is to appeal the decision. However, the appeals process is lengthy, complicated and frustrating, with strict rules and deadlines.
You will have a greater chance of success when you use an experienced disability lawyer. These professionals know what information will best strengthen your case, and they will help you acquire it. This includes working with your doctors to obtain letters and other supporting documentation. Then, they will organize all of the materials and submit them according to SSA guidelines.
Most cases are resolved at an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge. Having a qualified lawyer represent you at this hearing can make the difference between winning and losing your case. In fact, studies show that individuals who are represented by disability lawyers are three times more likely to have their claims approved.
Some cases are not resolved during a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. If this happens, the applicant can ask for a review by the SSA Appeals Council. However, the Appeals Council may deny your claim or decline to review it. Then, an applicant may file a civil suit in a federal district court.
This is the final level in the appeals process. Therefore, if you want to succeed, you need a skilled disability lawyer with extensive trial experience. Otherwise, you may lose your chance of receiving the income you and your family deserve.
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 comfort and safety of your own home.
Get The Bernstein Advantage® today!
Free. Simple. Quick.