Archive for June, 2011
I’ve Been Denied – Do I Need a Social Security Disability Attorney
Many people in this country can not earn a living due to physical disabilities not under their control. Over 75 years ago the Social Security system was created to help these people. Unfortunately, over time, the system has in many ways broken down, and people truly in need are being denied at an alarming rate. Statistics show that over 75% of applicants are initially turned down. If you are one of these people, you need to know what to do next. If you only take away one piece of advice form the article, please remember never give up!
Reconsideration – Step 1
When an individual applies for Social Security Disability, they will usually receive a decision on their application in 90 – 180 days. Unfortunately, an extremely high percentage of applicants are turned down due to no fault of their own. If your initial application is denied, you will receive a written notice of denial explaining the reasons for the denial, and advising your of your right to file for reconsideration. Since you only have 60 days to file for your reconsideration it is very important that you file the paperwork in a timely manner. Do not delay. If you do not file for a reconsideration within the 60 day limit you have lost this right to appeal. You will have to go back to step one and file a new application.
Once you have received your notice of denial you have three options:
- Retaining a Social Security Attorney to handle your appeal
- Appeal on your own
- Give up
Retaining a Qualified Attorney
If you have been denied, consulting a qualified attorney is probably the best step to take. Most attorneys will not charge you for an initial consultation. They will meet with you to learn the specifics of your situation, and explain your options. If you decided to retain him or her, they can handle the whole appeal process. This includes working with your doctors, the SSA, process all paperwork, and represent you at any hearings. An experienced lawyer will know what information to provide to the Administration in order to get your claim allowed. He or she will then work with your medical providers to get that information into the hands of the people who are deciding your claim. Additionally, most attorneys do not receive a fee until your claim is allowed. When they are paid, their fees are capped by law at 25% of your back award or $6,000 whichever is less. These fees come directly from the SSA out of your back award. As you can see, there is very little downside to consulting and retaining an attorney to handle your appeal.
Appealing on Your Own
The appeals process is complicated, and filled with land mines. Do you really feel that you can deal with all of the forms, medical information, and still take care of yourself? The only advantage to handling a claim yourself is to save yourself a few dollars, and that is only if your claim is allowed.
Never, ever give up. As long as you have a right to appeal, you have a chance to win your claim. There is absolutely no benefit to giving up.
The Social Security Disability Application – Where Do I Start?
Due to the delay Ohio applicants are currently faced with regarding their claims, it makes sense to file an application as soon as possible. We have found that filing your claim online at: www.SSA.gov/applyfordisability, has proven to be the fastest method, although applying in person if you can get an appointment quickly is also effective. Although attorneys can not make an initial application for our clients, we can handle every step of the appeal process if you are denied.
Which Program Do I Apply to? – SSD or SSI
When applying, you will first need to determine if you are eligible for Social Security Disability, SSD, or Supplemental Security Income, SSI. To be eligible for SSD, you need to have paid enough taxes into the system. The chart on this page: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html#part2 will give you a guide. If you do not meet these eligibility requirements, then you will need to apply for SSI.
Provide as much information as possible. You should list all of your disabilities, medical treatment history, including expected future treatment, as well all medications which you take. Additionally, you should explain how your disabilities and medication impact your work and every day life activities.
Do I Need An Ohio Social Security Attorney?
Although you do not need an attorney to file an application, of for any part of the appeal process, it would definitely be to your benefit to seek the advice of one at any time during the process. Most attorney’s will not charge for your initial consultation, and will only collect a fee if your claim is allowed. Additionally, their fess are capped at 25% of your back award, with a maximum fee of $6,000. One other thing to note, is that the applicant does not actually pay these fees. The attorney is paid directly by the Social Security Administration out of the applicants back award. For example, if your total back award was $20,000. You would receive $15,000 and the attorney would be paid $5,000.