Tag Archives: Administrative law

How to find a Social Security Disability Attorney

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income does not have be a complicated process, especially with the help of a professional Social Security Disability Attorney. The Social Security Disability evaluation process, unfortunately, can require multiple steps if the application is denied including: filing the Social Security Disability application, filing the Social Security reconsideration appeal (if the initial application is denied) and requesting a hearing (if the reconsideration is denied).

Most Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications will be denied the first time they are submitted to the Social Security Administration.  By hiring a SSDI lawyer and understanding the process, applicants can drastically increase the chances that they will eventually receive Social Security Disability benefits. Although most SSDI or SSI lawyers will not complete the Social Security Disability application and submitted it to the Social Security Administration for their clients, they do perform a wide variety of very important actions. Social Security Disability attorneys can do the following:

  • If the claimant has been denied the Social Security Disability lawyer can review the initial SSDI or SSI application to ensure it was accurate and complete.
  • Gather and review the claimant’s medical information.
  • Make sure the Claimant’s most recent medical Information has been sent to the Administrative Law Judge prior to the Claimant’s Hearing date.
  • Argue the claimant’s case before the Social Security Administrative Law Judge.

While a Social Security Disability attorney can not guarantee they can get their claimants SSDI or SSI benefits the experience attorneys have gained from the hundreds of Social Security Disability claims they have handled each year can help them determine if a client has a winnable Social Security Disability case. Social Security Disability lawyers understand SSD laws and can evaluate their client’s medical evidence to determine their work limitations.

Most Social Security Disability attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis which means SSD attorneys do not get paid unless they win their SSD client’s case. This can be great news for SSD claimants, many of whom do not have the extra $150 to $200 per hour which most attorneys charge for legal assistance. Social Security Disability attorneys make every effort to take SSI and SSDI cases they think they can win. Losing a case means the Social Security Disability lawyer may have spent hours or days preparing for a case without making a profit.

How can a claimant help their Social Security Disability lawyer? Claimants must continue to receive medical treatment for their condition and make sure their attorney has all of their medical records. Claimants are responsible for partnering with their Social Security Disability lawyer by answering phone calls and sending all requested information as soon as possible.

Contingency fee contracts can be a great way for claimants who are filing for Social Security Disability benefits to receive competent legal counsel with no up-front costs. Prior to signing any type of contract the claimant should understand exactly what types of services the Social Security Lawyer is providing and how much it will cost. Social Security Disability attorneys who win a Social Security Disability claim may receive up to 25% of the claimant’s past due benefits. This is paid to the Social Security Disability attorney regardless of the amount of work they did for the Social Security Disability claim.

Most Social Security Disability lawyers are hardworking professionals who do their best to get the best results for their clients. Claimants can receive strong legal counsel with little up-front cost, and the Social Security Disability attorney receives a fair payment if they win the claimant’s case. Talk to friends, do adequate research and make sure all fees and expectations are outlined before signing a contract with a Social Security Disability lawyer.

Understanding The Social Security Disability Appeals Process

In my previous post I explained the need for quick action if your application for Social Security Disability Benefits has been denied. When you appeal the decision, your case will move through a process that has three levels. Below I explain what will happen in each of the steps of the appeals process.

Hearing

If you disagree with the Social Security Administration’s initial decision, you may ask for a hearing on the “disability” issues of your claim, such as whether or not you are disabled, when your disability began or whether or not it has ended. An administrative law judge who had no part in the first decision of your case will conduct the hearing.

It is usually conducted within 75 miles of your home. A notification of the time and place of the hearing will be sent to you and your attorney. You will be given an opportunity to explain your case in person and provide new information about your claim. Witnesses in the case will be questioned by the administrative law judge, your attorney and/or you.

The administrative law judge will question you and any witnesses at the hearing. You or your representative also may question the witnesses.

It is usually to your advantage to attend the hearing, but it is not required. If you don’t wish to attend, you must notify the Social Security Administration in writing that you don’t want to attend. Unless the judge believes your presence is necessary in order for a decision to be made, he or she will make a decision based on all the information in your case, including any new information presented in the appeal.

The administrative law judge will take into consideration the evidence presented at the hearing and notify you by mail of their decision.

Appeals Council

If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask for a review by Social Security’s Appeals Council.

The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but it may deny a request if it believes the administrative law judge’s hearing decision was correct. If the council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case itself or return it to the judge for further review. You will receive either a copy of the Appeals Council’s decision or order sending it back to an administrative law judge.

Federal Court

If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

An experienced disability lawyer can guide you through the appeals process and offer advice on the process that is involved in appealing a decision by the Social Security Administration. A claimant with an attorney or advocate will get a better understanding of the Social Security System and their own claim through the advice of an attorney.

Anyone who has filed a claim for Social Security disability benefits should seriously consider the advantages of having an attorney to represent them in the case.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]