Social Security Disability Lawyers
What are Social Security Disability Lawyers?
A social security disability lawyer is a lawyer that specializes in social security disability cases. Social Security Disability, or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is a government program that provides monthly payments to individuals under the age of 65 who have a qualifying disability and sufficient work credits.
In order to receive SSDI benefits, you must meet both requirements for qualification, which are a work history in which you paid into the Social Security system and a qualifying disability. If you are a low-income individual who suffers from a qualifying disability but has little or no work history, you may be eligible for a different program called Supplemental Security Insurance or SSI.
Why is it Important to Have a Social Security Lawyer?
The most important reason to hire a social security lawyer is that individuals applying for SSDI who have an attorney have a much greater chance of getting approval. Although it is possible for you to apply on your own, statistics show that individuals represented by attorneys have a higher chance of approval.
The importance of having a social security lawyer can be seen from the very beginning of the application process. An attorney knows how to best present your case in a light most favorable to you.
Your lawyer can assist you with your application. This can include determining your alleged onset date of disability, showing your condition meets one of the listed impairments, and presenting the facts of your case in a way that is most persuasive.
If your initial application is denied, your attorney can represent you during the first level of appeal, or reconsideration level and the hearing level, or second level. Your lawyer can collect and submit medical evidence that is relevant to your case, obtain an opinion from your doctor and even draft a brief to an Administrative Law Judge, if necessary.
Your attorney can elicit testimony that will be helpful for your case at a hearing. It may also be necessary to cross-examine the vocational expert or medical expert in order to demonstrate that you are unable to work.
If it becomes necessary, your attorney can represent you during the next stages of appeal. These include the appeals council and the federal court. Your lawyer can present arguments to demonstrate that the Social Security Administration (SSA) wrongly denied your case.
What are Some Other Issues Related to Social Security Disability?
One of the most important issues in any social security disability case is demonstrating your disability meets the requirements to be approved. The SSA has numerous complex requirements that define what is a disability and the eligibility requirements. There is, however, a general three-step determination process, which includes:
- Certain very severe disabilities automatically qualify you for social security assistance. These may include:
- heart disease;
- severe arthritis;
- kidney failure;
- brain damage; and
- mental illness;
- For disabilities that are not as severe, the SSA determines whether the disability prevents you from performing your current or former work; and
- For less clear cases, the SSA will determine whether the condition prevents you from finding other work available under economic conditions.
Another important issue is to examine the most common reasons why applicants are denied SSDI benefits. These include:
- Too much or enough income, even if it is not as much as you made prior to your disability;
- Failure to submit substantial medical documentation of your disability;
- The SSA determination that you can perform another type of job; or
- Not enough work credits with the SSA to receive benefits.
Your social security attorney can review your unique circumstances and determine whether you have a listed disability. Your lawyer will also be able to analyze your chances of denial for those reasons listed above and advise you on ways to improve your chances of approval.
What are the Benefits of Working with a Social Security Lawyer?
There are numerous benefits of working with a social security lawyer. Most importantly, it increases your chances of being approved for benefits. The sooner you hire a social security lawyer, the better.
Even if you are only considering applying for benefits, a lawyer can provide you with an analysis of your case and assist you with the initial application. It is also important to remember that if you are approved at the initial application level, you will only be required to pay a small attorney’s fee because there will not be a large amount of back benefits owed by Social Security.
Hiring an attorney after receiving an initial denial can be extremely helpful. It improves your chances of being approved and, in some cases, the attorney can expedite the process if your situation is especially dire. Working with a social security lawyer can mean the difference between not being approved for benefits and obtaining the benefits you deserve.