You Can Afford An Attorney for Social Security Disability
As of June 2020, the United States has more than 9 million people receiving Social Security Disability benefits, with an average monthly payment of $1,123.99. Applying for Social Security Disability can be time-consuming and difficult.
You may be wondering if you should hire a Social Security Disability attorney for Social Security Disability to assist you in the application process. If you are on disability and can’t work, you probably wonder how you are going to afford legal fees.
The fact is, you can’t afford to not hire an attorney. There are no up-front attorney fees and you get a legal expert who understands the application process.
Read on to learn about how you first qualify for disability, as well as attorney fees, the benefits of hiring a lawyer for Social Security Disability, and when you should place that first consultation call.
Social Security Administration Blue Book
First, it’s important to understand how you may qualify for disability benefits. The Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, commonly referred to as the Blue Book, lists the conditions that qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Understanding this book and its impact on your claim is critical to a successful application process.
You must have clinical reports that support your claim. Conditions that automatically qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) include:
- Cancer or Malignant Neoplastic Disease – Section 13
- Cardiovascular System – Section 4
- Compassionate Allowances List – conditions so serious Social Security immediately approves benefits upon receiving your diagnosis
- Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems – Section 10
- Digestive System – Section 5
- Endocrine Disorders – Section 9
- Genitourinary Disorders – Section 6
- Hematological Disorders – Section 7
- Immune Disorders – Section 14
- Mental Disorders – Section 12
- Musculoskeletal Problems – Section 1
- Neurological Disorders – Section 11
- Overlapping Issues or Disorders – If the source of one problem is the result of an underlying issue
- Respiratory Disorders – Section 3
- Sense and Speech Issues – Section 2
- Skin Disorders – Section 8
Under each disability, you will find the criteria necessary to qualify. This includes diagnosis, testing, documentation, test results, and more.
To find out whether you have a Social Security Disability case, you can take a 100% free online case evaluation with immediate results. Even if you qualify, that does not guarantee Social Security will award you the benefits you deserve.
The application process is difficult and requires collecting and submitting documents from medical professionals. Many times an applicant receives a denial of their claim because they lack necessary evidence. That is where an attorney for social security disability is beneficial.
Attorney for Social Security Disability
If you are not familiar with the Social Security Blue Book, it may feel overwhelming. A majority of Social Security Disability claims are denied on the first application. Your ability to receive benefits is on the line and you need an attorney with experience.
Your attorney understands what is meant by the description of your condition and what medical records are needed for you to qualify. If the claim is denied, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is familiar with the legal process for presenting your claim at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.
The rules of an Administrative Law Judge hearing are similar to a hearing in a standard courtroom, but there are some variations in the process and rules. A Social Security Disability attorney will be familiar with that process.
Your attorney will know what evidence the judge needs to see on your particular medical condition. They will know what questions to ask expert medical witnesses to prove your disability at the hearing.
Legal Fee Agreements
When you hire an attorney you will be asked to sign a fee agreement. This is a written statement that provides information regarding the reason you have retained legal counsel and what fees you are expected to pay in exchange for the attorney’s services.
Under Federal law, for Social Security Disability an attorney can only charge you attorney fees if they win your case. The law also states that the attorney can only collect up to 25% of the backpay due to you, up to a maximum of $6,000.
To collect their fee, the attorney must submit a copy of the fee agreement they made with you to Social Security prior to receiving a favorable decision. If the attorney does not submit their fee agreement in a timely fashion, Social Security assumes the attorney has waived their fee.
Social Security has to approve the attorney’s fee agreement, and only after that approval is given can the attorney collect their requested fees.
Motivation to Win
You should hire an attorney who has a strong motivation to win. Your attorney should be willing to fight for your benefits. A great attorney will get a great settlement, and the higher the settlement, the better their fee.
If the attorney wins you a $5,000 back payment settlement, the attorney only collects $1,250 ($5,000 x 25% = $1,250) in attorney fees.
If, on the other hand, you are awarded $25,000 in back pay, the attorney will collect the maximum allowable fee of $6,000 ($25,000 x 25% = $6,250).
Although you don’t have to pay any attorney fees if you file on your own and win, you need to weigh the odds on the length of time you will wait to receive benefits if you lose. Your chances of winning at an ALJ hearing without an attorney are slimmer than the chance of having the initial application approved.
Another concern in self-representation is whether you will receive the full amount you are entitled to. When self-representing you need to understand how to present a case so that you receive benefits beginning with the onset date of the disability.
Proof of that date is extremely important because it determines the date your backpay begins. Your attorney will be familiar with the criteria used to establish that date.
From the time you sign your attorney agreement, they will work to present your case in the light most favorable to you. They will guide you on what information you can provide to help solidify your case. They will obtain medical opinions from your doctor and outside medical experts if needed.
Your attorney will prepare a detailed brief to the Administrative Law Judge stating facts and law to help obtain a decision favorable to you. Prior to the hearing your attorney will review testimony with you and your witnesses and walk you through the court process.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you are thinking of filing a claim for Social Security disability, you should schedule a free consultation with the LaBovick Law Group. We will evaluate your case and help you determine whether you qualify to receive disability benefits.
Whatever stage of the process you are in, whether filing the initial application or if you’ve just received a denial on your claim, we can help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney for Social Security Disability. We will evaluate your case and start you on the process of receiving benefits. Call (561) 623-3681 today.