Social-Security Disability Lawyer. Social Security lawyers help clients at all stages of the application process, from the initial application to the hearing before an administrative law judge to filing appeals with the Appeals Council and federal district court lawsuits.
Disability lawyers are trained in the code of federal regulations that apply to claims for Social Security disability.
Social-Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security lawyers help their clients win a monthly disability payment and often retroactive lump sum payments. Because each application for Social Security disability benefits is governed by a complex set of rules and regulations, many people hire an attorney to help them navigate the system.
What Does an SSDI Lawyer Do?
Here are some of the main things an SSDI will do when working on your case: The exact actions will depend on your situation and needs. If you aren’t sure where you need help, reach out to a trusted lawyer for a free consultation.
Reviewing Your SSDI Case
First, your lawyer will carefully look over your case. Whether you still need to apply or want to appeal a denial. An SSDI lawyer will get familiar with your current situation. If you received a denial letter from the SSA. The lawyer will look at denial reasons. They will use this information to prepare for the appeal.
Filling in Any Application Gaps
A widespread reason for SSDI denials is a lack of information. An incomplete application can lead to denial, even if your condition qualifies for benefits. This is one of the most important reasons to contact an SSDI lawyer.
A lawyer can fill in any gaps in your claim. They will know what your application is missing and how to fix it. Without a legal eye on your claim, it can be challenging to know what to change.
Representing You During the Appeal Process
The approval rate for SSDI is not high. Many people won’t get approval during the initial application. However, you have a higher chance of getting benefits after a hearing.
After denial, you can appeal the SSA’s decision. There are four stages to the appeal process:
Request for reconsideration
The administrative law judge hearing
Appeals Council review
Federal Court review
Your SSDI lawyer can help you with each appeal step. They will work to gather the missing information to strengthen your claim. Your lawyer can also help prepare you for possible questions during the hearing.
Gathering Medical Records and Evidence
You must have medical evidence of your disabling condition. The SSA will be looking for records to prove your disability. An attorney can help you gather the right evidence to include in your claim.
They can also help you obtain copies of records that are missing. If you have any medical records, your lawyer can look through all of them to determine what’s essential.
Developing a Theory About Your Case
Your lawyer will create a story or “theory” about why you meet Social Security’s disability definition after reviewing your case. There are three main types of theories that your attorney could use:
Your condition meets a Social Security disability listing.
You “grid out” any type of work.
Your condition prevents you from doing even sedentary work.
Ensuring the Completion of Your Case
Incomplete disability applications are the bugaboo of the majority of applicants for Social Security Disability benefits. Most applicants are denied in the initial stages of the application process, and most denials are based on incomplete applications. A Social Security Disability attorney with the necessary experience will ensure that your application is properly and thoroughly completed.
Provides Legal Support During the Appeal Process
Since a majority of disability claims are denied by the SSA, you should hire a disability lawyer who may understand the complex appeal process to receive approval for financial assistance. The disability attorney that you hire may submit a more persuasive claim as part of the process called an appeal for reconsideration.
If your appeal for reconsideration is denied by the SSA, your Social Security disability attorney can prepare to present your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Disability lawyers likely understand how to build a strong enough case to persuade an ALJ to issue a ruling that eventually gets you approved for financial assistance.
Do I Need a Disability Lawyer?
While there is no guarantee that hiring a lawyer will get your application approved, it can make it more likely. Here are a few circumstances to consider:
You might need a disability lawyer if:
You don’t understand the application process: A lawyer can make sure your application is complete and contains enough supporting material.
Your initial application has been denied: A denied application isn’t the end of the road. A lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process.
You have questions about medical documentation requirements: If you are overwhelmed with the number of medical records you need to submit or are unsure of what documentation is required, a lawyer can help.
One might not need a disability lawyer if:
You have already applied: If you’ve already done the legwork and are waiting for a decision, hiring a lawyer at this point might not be necessary. Consider waiting until you are denied before committing to working with a lawyer.
You have a certain medical condition or terminal illness: In these cases, you can receive a Compassionate Allowance, which fast-tracks your application so you can receive disability benefits more quickly.
How To Find a Disability Lawyer
Here are four ways to find a disability lawyer:
Ask For Recommendations: A good recommendation can save you time and effort. Ask friends and family who have filed for disability if they liked their attorneys.
Compare Experience: Lawyers who practice this kind of law don’t necessarily have the same experience or specializations. Look for a disability lawyer who has experience in handling cases similar to yours.
Request A Free Consultation: A reputable lawyer is going to offer an initial consultation for free, says Syme. Use the appointment to ask specific questions, meet the office staff, and get a feel for the lawyer’s personality.
. Search Online: Looking for a disability lawyer near you will bring up a list of options in your area. And databases that organize lawyers by state, like those on Nolo.com and Lawyers.com, let you compare candidates quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions:
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney?
No one can force you to hire a Social Security Disability attorney to represent your case. You are free to take on the entire task on your own. The truth is, however, that disability claims are exceedingly complicated and typically require the knowledge and skill that only experienced disability lawyers have cultivated.
It’s established that the majority of initial applications are rejected by the Social Security Administration, and the appeals process is even more exacting.
Moving forward on your own is unlikely to be in your best interests — your rights and your future health and well-being are simply too important to leave to chance.
How Are Disability Attorneys Paid?
One of the reasons why many applicants for SSD benefits do not hire legal representation concerns the cost of legal support. However, working with a Social Security disability attorney should not cost you any upfront legal fees.
Most SSD lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they receive compensation as a percentage of a successfully filed disability claim.