If you suffer from an injury or condition that has rendered you disabled and prevents you from working, Social Security Disability (SSD) can provide a critical lifeline for you and your family. Unfortunately, while it may seem obvious and straightforward that your disability should entitle you to SSD benefits, receiving the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve is difficult due to the complicated rules and regulations that surround the claims process.
However, making a simple mistake on your application could result in your claim being denied. This makes it critical that you work with an experienced attorney that can help guide you through the application and appeals paperwork. If you are recently disabled and are considering filing for SSD, here is an overview of the importance of working with an attorney.
Making Your Case Isn’t Easy
When applying for Social Security Disability, it is important that you start working with an attorney as early in the process as possible, as this will help to ensure that you build a solid case for yourself. Even if it seems obvious to you that your disability restricts your ability to work, you must be able to demonstrate this in your application. If you are unable to prove without a doubt that your condition directly impacts your ability to work and make a living, it is likely that your claim will be denied. Fortunately, an attorney who is experienced in handling SSD cases knows this, and they will be able to help you demonstrate your inability to work while navigating complex Social Security laws and regulations.
You Could Find Yourself Drowning in Paperwork
Part of what makes the SSD application process so complicated, and why so many cases are denied, is the fact that it involves filling out a great deal of complex paperwork. If you try to go through this alone, you may quickly find yourself drowning in piles of paperwork filled with complex legal jargon that you don’t understand, or waiting hours in line to try to get support from someone at the social security office. This could lead to you making a mistake on your paperwork that could cause your case to be denied. Thusly, an attorney can be instrumental in helping you to navigate this process, as they have experience handling similar cases to yours and can walk you through this complex paperwork. In fact, an attorney can handle much of the legwork for you, removing a heavy burden from your shoulders.
Navigating Appeals Is Confusing
Unfortunately, even when painstaking time is taken to ensure that the paperwork is filled out properly, many SSD claims are denied initially and have to move forward to an appeals process. This process can be even more complicated and time-consuming, making it critical that you have an attorney by your side if you have to appeal your case. An attorney can help to ensure that your case is as strong as possible, and they can help prepare you if you are required to appear before a judge.
Never Miss an Appointment or Deadline
When filing a Social Security Disability claim, it is imperative that you make all appointments and have the proper paperwork submitted by indicated deadlines. However, many people find it overwhelming trying to keep track of everything, and you may find yourself missing a critical deadline, which could lead to your claim being denied. For instance, if you don’t appeal a denied disability claim within 60 days of having received your notification of denial, you will have to file a new SSD application and start the entire process over again. Working with an experienced attorney can then be critical in helping to assure that everything is handled properly. They will keep track of all the paperwork and important dates, ensuring that your claim is not denied on a technicality such as a missed deadline.
SSD Attorneys Are Held to High Standards
If you have decided to hire representation to help you file your application, you may wonder whether a disability attorney or a non-attorney representative would be a better option. The primary benefit of choosing to work with an experienced disability attorney is that disability attorneys are held to high ethical standards. With an attorney, you can feel confident knowing that everything you say is held in confidence, as attorneys are bound by professional conduct rules and attorney-client privilege. Additionally, in order to practice before the Social Security Administration, an attorney must abide by strict rules of conduct and standards of responsibility. You can then rest assured that your case is in the best hands when you partner with a disability attorney.
No Up-front Costs
Many people are hesitant to work with a disability attorney as they are concerned about the costs involved with doing so. However, the fact is that the fee process for Social Security Disability claims is highly regulated. Most attorneys handling SSD cases work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will only get paid if they win benefits for you. If your attorney is successful, they will collect a fee from the federal government out of your back pay award. Additionally, this fee is generally capped at 25% of this back pay, or $6,000, whichever is less. Not only will you be unlikely to pay out of pocket, but the amount that goes to your attorney will likely be small compared to the amount of the benefits you will receive during your lifetime.
Get Your Benefits Faster
Ultimately, working with an attorney can help to speed up the process of filing, or appealing, your Social Security Disability claim. Having someone by your side with experience handling this process can help to ensure that things go smoothly and that your claim is submitted and processed as soon as possible. An attorney will make sure that all procedures are followed, no mistakes are made, and that you make the best case for yourself as possible.
Filing a Social Security Disability claim can be a complex and confusing process. Feel free to contact us to learn how we can support you during this difficult time.