When to Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Legal Article

When to Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you believe that you may qualify for social security disability insurance, it may be beneficial to speak with a social security disability lawyer that has experience in this sector of the law. Social security law is one of the few areas of law where the costs associated with this assistance is predetermined. The reason for this is that disability attorneys charge fees regulated by federal law. For instance, social security lawyers can charge the lesser of 25% of your disability backpay or $6,000. This is just the general fee. Thus, social security lawyers can charge more if a case goes to the appeals council or federal court. Additionally, little or no money is required up-front and most social security attorneys only charge a fee if they help you win your case.

When Should I Call a Lawyer?

When dealing with social security lawyers, it is generally better to contact these specialists earlier in the process rather than later. This applies even if you are even looking to apply for benefits but are not sure if you will be eligible to receive financial assistance. One more way that the federal government has made it easier for people to get legal help concerning social security is that lawyers are not able to charge for initial consultations. Thus, you can speak with multiple attorneys to find the one best suited for your needs without having to spend any of your own money. This is crucial as your attorney will help you evaluate the strength of your case and assist you with your preliminary application.

Some people can navigate this initial documentation process without legal advice. However, enlisting an attorney to assist you with this process is never a bad idea and can even be necessary if you are worried about your eligibility for the program. Furthermore, by ensuring that you have all the required documentation, a social security attorney can help you receive benefits much quicker than if you submitted to documentation by yourself and needed to make multiple updates.

In addition to improving your chances of success, a disability attorney can sometimes move your case more quickly through the system, especially if your medical condition is terminal or your financial situation is especially dire. A common example of this would be providing documentation stating that your house is about to be foreclosed on. Furthermore, your attorney can send the judge a request for an “on-the-record” (OTR) decision, which means that you could be approved for benefits without a hearing.

5 Reasons to Speak with a Social Security Disability Lawyer

In general, a social security disability lawyer can help you before, during, and after your social security case. However, below are the main five reasons why you should speak to a social security disability lawyer.  

Receive a Preliminary Evaluation to Check if You Qualify for Benefits

If you sustain an injury while working, you may have difficulty judging whether your medical conditions will allow you to qualify for social security disability insurance. Thus, receiving advice from someone who specializes in social security benefits is essential. This is especially true if you are unsure whether you want to pursue government benefits.

Social An attorney will be able to assess your situation based upon how your disability will affect your work, your ability to find new work, and the severity of your condition. Additionally, a social security attorney will search through the “Blue Book”. The Blue Book lists all the disabilities recognized by the social security administration (SSA). You may be able to find your disability on the list easily. However, your exact disability does not have to be on the list to receive financial assistance. If this is your case, an attorney is invaluable as they will have to decide whether your injury has an equivalent in the blue book.

Get Help with Your Initial Social Security Application

If your injury allows you to pursue benefits, you fill out initial documentation that goes to the SSA. This application requires detailed information. For instance, your medical history, your current injury that is preventing you from working, and your current income are required. While seemingly straightforward, a social security attorney can help you quickly fill out this information. Additionally, they will ensure that you do not miss or misidentify important information that requires you to resubmit your application.

Update the SSA on Medical Records

With over 37 million Americans suffering from severe disabilities, the SSA focuses benefits on those that need it most. Thus, to ensure that you receive your benefits, it is important to continuously send documentation to the SSA. This documentation should show that you are still suffering from your disability and continue to require financial assistance. The amount of documentation that the SSA requires can be confusing and overwhelming. This is especially true if you are in serious pain or trying to recover from your injury.

Receive Legal Representation in Front of an Administrative Law Judge

In certain circumstances, the SSA will deny social security disability insurance applications. If this occurs, the person will have the option to request a social security disability hearing. A social security disability hearing is an informal meeting with an administrative law judge (ALJ). Furthermore, an ALJ will review your claims, ask you additional information, and potentially overrule the initial decision. When appealing your social security ruling, an attorney is especially useful. The reason for this is that an attorney is familiar with the legal processes associated with this case. Additionally, an attorney understands the documentation necessary to overrule the decision. Finally, they can layout arguments meant to convince the ALJ that you should receive financial assistance.

No Payment Unless Your Win Your Case

Finally, a social security lawyer will not receive payment for their services unless they help you receive your benefits. This delayed payment system takes the pressure and the risk off you. Additionally, you can receive quality legal assistance without the financial risk that could occur if you lost your case. Furthermore, this payment system ensures that your attorney will work hard and help you receive the benefits you need.

Final Thoughts

The most important reason to hire a social security disability attorney is that with their assistance, your chances of receiving benefits significantly increase. It’s certainly true that some people who apply on their own are approved for benefits. However, statistics show that the SSA is more likely to approve applicants represented by legal counsel than one who isn’t.

From the initial documentation and application process to the hearing level and beyond, disability attorneys understand how to properly present a case in a way that is most favorable to their clients. Additionally, on the initial application, a social security disability lawyer can offer advice on your “alleged onset date” of disability. Furthermore, they will also be able to show that your condition meets one of the listed impairments in the “blue book.”

At the appellate levels, your social security lawyer can collect and submit relevant medical evidence, obtain an opinion from your doctor, create a brief that will go to the ALJ, and prepare you for the types of questions that an ALJ will ask you at your appellate hearing. Finally, if your case is getting substantial pushback, your attorney may cross-examine an expert in your field or medical experts. The reason for this is that these experts can state that your disability does not allow you to work.

Contact Our Law Office for More Information

For more information on when to talk to a social security disability lawyer, contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. Additionally, for general information social security law, check out our blog.