Disability lawyer- top reasons you might need oneEvery day on our disability forum we get the question, Do I really need a disability lawyer? It may seem silly that you have to hire a disability lawyer for what many consider disability benefits they are entitled to receive, but unfortunately, given that there are millions of disability applicants every year and a high percentage of them are denied benefits, yes, you might need a disability lawyer.
When do I need a SSDI or SSI disability lawyer?
1. You cannot manage the disability process alone
Anyone who does not have the time or energy to understand the disability process, how to file their disability benefit's application, or the appeals process would benefit from legal help. If you do not do the proper amount of research there is a strong chance you will flounder in the SSA system for months or years.
2. Your condition does not meet a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments
The SSA has two methods for determining whether you qualify for disability benefits: determining if your condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or determining if you have the residual capacity to work through a medical vocational allowance. If the SSA decides your condition does not meet a listing you are likely to be denied SSDI or SSI benefits and will only win benefits through an appeal.
Disability lawyers specialize in appeals and can help you develop a strong case to present before the Administrative Law Judge at a hearing.
3. You have been denied SSI or SSDI disability benefits
If you have been denied disability benefits, assuming you met the nonmedical requirements to qualify, then the SSA has decided that your condition is not severe enough, will not last 12 continuous months or you still have the capacity to work some type of job. Overcoming a denial can be challenging but disability lawyers can help.
4. You are scheduled for a disability hearing
Many applicants do not consider hiring a disability lawyer until they are scheduled for a hearing. If you have been scheduled for an SSI or SSDI disability hearing this will be your best chance to win disability benefits. Disability lawyers have argued hundreds of cases, many similar to yours, and understand how to prove that you cannot work. They also have expertise in reviewing medical information and can determine if they think you have sufficient evidence to win your case.
When do I not need a disability lawyer?
Many SSDI and SSI applicants will not need legal help. If you have a condition which meets a listing on the SSA listing of impairments or your condition is listed on the Compassionate Allowance list you should be approved immediately for benefits, assuming you meet the nonmedical criteria for the SSDI or SSI program.
Hiring Disability Lawyers
The good news is disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and is only paid if you win. If you win they will receive 25% of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. Unfortunately, if a disability lawyer does not think you have a good case or that they cannot win your case they will refuse to take your case.