When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), chances are your application is going to get denied. An average of 63% of disability claims are denied, and only 2% and 9% are approved at the reconsideration and hearing levels. While this may sound discouraging, there is a solution: hire a Social Security disability lawyer.
By learning about the SSDI and SSI application process, as well as figuring out the right time to hire a Social Security disability lawyer to help you, you will have a much better chance of receiving benefits.
Applying for Benefits
When you apply for SSDI, you’re going to have to show that you have been out of work for at least 12 months, or you will be out of work for at least 12 months. You also cannot switch to another line of work. You’ll have to state your qualifying disability as well as provide the necessary proof based on the condition you have.
The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book lists all the covered disabilities as well as the requirements of proof for each. In general, proof could include your medical records, test results, doctors’ notes, and testimonials from people who are familiar with your condition.
To apply for SSI, you’ll need to show that you are eligible based on your situation. SSI is for anyone who is aged (65 and older), blind, or disabled, and has limited income. You’ll need to provide your proof of income such as your tax returns, along with an adult disability report and medical evidence that can prove you have a qualifying condition.
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
The truth of the matter is that applying for Social Security disability benefits is complicated, confusing, and overwhelming. Many times, people get denied simply because they didn’t properly fill out their application. They may have left out details about their condition, for instance, or they didn’t provide enough proof of their disability.
When you’re already dealing with your disability, you may not have the time or energy to go through this complex process on your own. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with every step of the process and ensure you have a better chance of receiving benefits. They are experienced with this process and know what works. And if you get denied, they know how to appeal it and hopefully get you approved the second time around.
When to Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer
The right time to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer is before you apply for benefits. Then, you’ll know that your application is going to be as strong as possible and everything on it is correct.
If you’ve already been denied for benefits after submitting an application on your own, you can still hire a disability lawyer to help you with the reconsideration and hearing stages. However, keep in mind that you only have 60 days to respond. If that time has passed, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to help you do the application process all over again. There is no limit on the number of times you can apply.
Also, if you are due for a CDR review of your social security benefits, then you will likely benefit greatly from consulting an experienced attorney.
What to Look for in a Social Security Disability Lawyer
When searching for a Social Security disability lawyer, you’ll want to find someone who has experience with other applicants. They should have a good track record of helping applicants get approved. If you have family and friends who have applied for benefits with the assistance of a lawyer, you can ask them for recommendations.
If you don’t know anyone, you could always go on Google and look up reviews of lawyers, as well as check out their website and read their testimonials. Most lawyers will give you a free consultation so you can determine whether or not you want to hire them.
How Much a Social Security Disability Lawyer Costs
You may be wondering how much you’ll have to pay for an SSDI or SSI lawyer. In general, federal law states that lawyers are entitled to 25% of your backpay, or $6,000 — whichever one is lower. Your lawyer could potentially charge you a higher fee if you fired them and hired a second lawyer, or you are denied benefits at the disability hearing level and your lawyer has to then appeal to federal court or the Appeals Council.
Though $6,000 may seem high, the benefits you receive could be well worth it. If you get monthly checks, you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills and you could have the energy to focus on your health instead. You could have peace of mind that no matter what, your basic expenses are going to be covered. That makes a Social Security disability lawyer worth every penny.
To get your Social Security Disability application started right, contact a reputable Social Security Disability lawyer in your area.