Social Security disability is designed to help those who have put in their time and paid into disability during their years of employment, but who are now unable to work because of a physical or mental disability.
While this program is designed to be a safety net for hard-working Americans, going through the process of becoming eligible for Social Security disability can be very difficult, confusing, and time-consuming.
It can make sense to have an experienced guide work with you as you put together your application and seek to receive your benefits. A Social Security disability lawyer can provide guidance, support, and knowledge to help you through the required steps and give you peace-of-mind regarding the Social Security disability request process.
Social Security Disability Lawyers Are Familiar With the Application Process.
With almost any type of assistance program, a host of cumbersome steps are required to request and receive aid. Social Security disability is no exception.
It’s a myth that all applications are denied the first time around. However, more than two-thirds of applications are rejected after their initial review, which means there are a lot of people who are disappointed and stressed about whether they’ll be able to support themselves when their disability coverage doesn’t come through.
According to statistics from the Social Security Administration, more than 30 percent of applicants are denied for a technical (non-medical) decision before a medical determination is ever made. These technical reasons for denial can be big, and sometimes unnecessary, roadblocks – like failing to exempt the value of your car or home from your overall income/asset statement.
Knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyers have worked through the paperwork for disability claims for hundreds of clients and will be able to guide you through the application process to give you a better chance of being awarded your benefits on your first application attempt.
With a Social Security disability attorney supporting you, you’ll risk fewer missteps, like missing a filing date or leaving out critical information, both of which could mean a rejection of your application and a time-consuming appeal process.
A Social Security Disability Attorney Can Guide You Through the Appeal Process If Your Benefits Are Initially Denied.
If your initial benefit request was not accepted, the Social Security Administration will grant you 60 days to request an appeal/review.
During the appeal process, you’ll receive an additional set of documents to be completed and returned, as well as have the opportunity for a video or in-person hearing. While you can complete this process on your own, a Social Security disability attorney can make it easier to ensure you’re compiling all the necessary information.
The appeal process can be lengthy, with 60 days to appeal the initial denial, then 60 days between each subsequent appeal. Each delay means a longer time waiting for financial support, which can be stressful and frustrating.
An Attorney Can Take Your Case to Federal Court If Your Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied.
The appeal process for Social Security disability can include up to four different levels/separate instances of review:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
When you reach the level of federal court review, you’re essentially suing the Social Security Administration for wrongfully withholding your benefits. When you’ve reached this point, you don’t want anything to slow the process down, get in your way, or negatively impact your final appeal.
The process of participating in a federal court appeal includes making court filings and being represented in the federal court hearing. Handling the case on your own may represent to the
court that you have the ability to work, thus negating your case. An attorney’s guidance and support can be invaluable in presenting the evidence required to further your claim and increase your chance at a positive outcome.
The cost of securing an attorney may be a top-of-mind concern for disability applicants, especially because people filing for Social Security disability benefits are unable to work. However, attorneys who take on Social Security disability cases are not allowed to request upfront payment for their time from their clients.
Instead, they may receive a small upfront payment for expenses, then earn their additional payment based on whether their clients are able to secure their Social Security disability benefits.
You can complete the Social Security disability application process on your own; however, the top benefit of working with an attorney is having their guidance and support from the beginning.
With a Social Security disability lawyer supporting you through the process, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and won’t be blindsided by a denial or a subsequent step in the appeal process.
The most important reason you NEED an experienced SS Disability attorney at the earliest possible stage of the process is for analysis, advice, and counsel as to the facts of your case and what evidence will be necessary to prove your disability. This is essential as otherwise, you could be wasting months of time during which the evidence is insufficient to prove your disability which can cost you the benefits you need so badly. The attorneys at Leavitt Meunier Law will analyze your case individually and advise you immediately as to what evidence will be necessary to win your case.
If you’re dealing with the pain and frustration of being disabled, don’t try to go through the disability application process on your own. Contact our team at Meunier Leavitt and let our knowledgeable Social Security disability attorneys support you through the disability application process.