If you have an injury or ailment that has rendered you disabled, it is your employer’s responsibility to try and accommodate you in the workplace so that you can continue to work with the disability. However, in some cases, you might be too incapacitated to work, which can cause your employer to let you go.
In these cases, the federal government provides for injured persons by providing disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The problem is, it is not uncommon for the SSA to deny these benefits. In fact, about 53% of all applicants initially get denied.
If you feel your application has been wrongly denied, you need a Social Security disability attorney. Legal professional help will be required to get approval for these benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore what a Social Security disability attorney does and when you might need one. We’ll also explain the litigation process, so you’re well-informed when you approach these types of attorneys.
What Happens When You Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
Dealing with the SSA may not be as easy as you think. When the SSA denies your disability benefits, the appeal process can be very complex.
Social Security disability attorneys know the ins and outs of the SSA. As such, they can help you make a strong application for these benefits. More importantly, they can help you make a claim for a wrongly denied application.
However, you must understand that this attorney isn’t mandatory in the application process, but can be very beneficial. The lawyer acts as the intermediary between you and the SSA to boost your probability of approval.
The Initial Review
The initial review happens when you first contact a Social Security disability attorney, after you decide to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny your application.
The review involves reviewing all of the details of your application to establish firmly why you were denied approval.
There is a tendency for many disability attorneys to only accept cases that have a high chance of success. They may reject your case if you don’t have a valid argument. However, some firms may offer free consultation, which may be of some help.
For a complete initial review, you must provide documentation to the law firm. This documentation includes medical records and other supporting documents.
With these documents, the firm can know all your limitations, restrictions and also understand the severity of your condition. Keep in mind that you will need to provide genuine documentation; anything fabricated will land you in trouble.
Here are a couple of things you might be asked to provide during this stage:
- Accurate details of your work history. These include the date you started working, along with any promotions or demotions.
- All of your work skills and the type of work you do.
- All of your medical records, if applicable. These records should indicate the diagnosis, your symptoms, the treatment methodology, and implications of the injury or illness.
- Details of how well you are responding to treatment. Also, inform the attorney if the treatment is affecting you in any way, i.e. your are experiencing side effects or financial strain.
The Initial Review Results
From the information provided, your attorney can determine whether you’re likely to succeed in your Social Security disability claim. They can also provide some tips and strategies that might help your chances at being successful with your claim.
But remember, your claim can be denied during the initial review. But this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road.The good news is that you can retain your disability attorney for the entire litigation process.
There is also something called reconsideration, which is akin to an appeal to the first claim denial. Before you consider filing for reconsideration, you’ll receive a denial notice from the lawyer. This notice will explain in detail why your claim was denied.
In the reconsideration stage, your lawyer will try to address all the shortcomings of your first claim. Sometimes your claims may be denied simply because of an incomplete application. The lawyer will make sure your claim application is complete the next time for reconsideration.
The Medical Evidence
Medical evidence is a crucial part of your claim application. However, some medical information may have restricted access because of HIPAA. In that case, your lawyer must sign a medical privacy release. Some firms might choose to contact your doctors to get more information about your condition.
Before the actual SSA hearing, your attorney will conduct a pre-hearing with you. The pre-hearing can be in person, over video chat, or simply over the phone.
The attorney will go over some questions the SSA might ask you during the actual hearing, so prepare yourself for some grilling. The harsher the hearing, the more prepared you’ll need to be. Here are a few questions to prepare for:
- What is your disability precisely and what are its symptoms?
- What is the date you became unable to work?
- How does your disability, and the symptoms you suffer from it, affect your ability to continue working or taking another job elsewhere?
Developing Your Case
It’s probably clear now that you need to have a solid case in order for the SSA to approve your claim. You must sufficiently prove why you are unable to work effectively. You must also demonstrate how you came to be disabled, along with the implications of your disability.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
Payment for an SSA claim will typically vary from law firm to law firm. Most firms take a percentage of your back payment. You can expect to pay around 25% of your back payment to your Social Security disability attorney.
A Good Social Security Disability Attorney Is Invaluable
Remember, SSA cases are not the easiest of all cases. So when you need disability benefits, you can never underestimate the importance of an experienced Social Security disability attorney. You’ll need a good attorney from a reputable firm to win the case.
Also, you don’t need to have your claim denied before seeking an attorney. You can hire a lawyer during the application process to improve your chances of approval.
If you need competent and dedicated Social Security disability attorneys, then contact us for expedient service and get your benefits.