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To collect benefits under either the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, you’re faced with an impersonal and uncaring bureaucracy that seems intent on denying you the benefits that you rightfully deserve.
Nearly one out of every six working-age Americans has a disability. If you’re one of these 29.5 million people, working and earning a decent living is harder than it is for people without disabilities, and you may find yourself unable to work at all. Congress recognized this problem, and beginning in the 1950s, passed several laws to create Social Security Disability benefits programs. The idea was to provide a safety net for people with disabilities – mostly funded by American workers themselves through payroll deductions. But it is a long and, oftentimes, hard-to-understand process to get approved. That’s why you need someone on your side who understands the system and will fight for your rights.
Here’s how an attorney who focuses exclusively on Social Security disability law can help you:
Your attorney will protect your rights, keep your case on track, and make sure no deadlines are missed.
Many Social Security Disability claims drag on or are denied due to simple mistakes, like failing to return required paperwork on time, or not completing the paperwork correctly. All too often, we see individuals who were denied benefits before they consulted with us because they left out critical information that would have been helpful to winning their cases. At Nash Disability Law, we take a disciplined approach to assure that all of your information is received by Social Security completely, accurately, and on time. (For more information see our blog article: “When Should I Consult with an Attorney about My Social Security Claim?”)
Your case will be presented to the Social Security Administration in a way that gives you the very best chance to succeed.
The Social Security Disability system is complex and confusing. A good attorney knows how to navigate through the system, and how to present all of the evidence in the right way. Your attorney will also know exactly what documents and evidence the Social Security Administration will be looking for.
Because the majority of Social Security disability claims are denied upon initial application (see: Applying for Disability) and in the reconsideration phase, the disability hearing is the third level in the appeal process and, statistics show, it offers the best chances of approval. Two factors are critical to success at a disability hearing: a skillful presentation of your case, and thorough preparation. Legal training and experience gives your attorney the knowledge to prepare and argue your case to maximize your chances for success.
To prove your case, you must prove you’re disabled and unable to work using Social Security’s five-step evaluation process. This process contains complex rules that can feel like they are stacked against you. The guidance of a skilled representative advocating for you can be invaluable. (For more see: “Secrets to Avoiding Costly Disability Benefit Mistakes”)
Because the Social Security Administration gathers your medical records for your disability application and reconsideration appeal, you may be surprised to learn (many people are) that at the appeal hearing level, you or your attorney are responsible for gathering your medical evidence for your hearing. Additionally (and understandably), it can be difficult to present your claim without getting emotional and forgetting something important. It’s true that you know how you feel because of your medical conditions and want to explain it all to the judge, but that’s the exact reason to get an attorney. What you think is the most important may not be. (Read Attorney Dan Rosen’s outstanding blog: “Not All Impairments Are Created Equal.”)
Experienced disability lawyers know how to work with doctors.
To be awarded Social Security disability benefits, your case must be supported by obpjective medical evidence which justifies the awarding of benefits. Information from your doctor is vital to your case, so knowing what questions to ask your doctor and gathering the right medical records is critically important. It is not enough that your doctor says you are disabled. (See: “How Can Social Security Dispute My Doctor’s Opinion That I Am “Disabled?”) Reading medical records can be difficult and time-consuming. A good lawyer can pick out the important details in your medical file and highlight them for the Administrative Law Judge.
On Your Side
Because a disability lawyer works on a contingency basis (they only get paid if you win, and their fees are limited by law), they are on your side and have a stake in your case. The Nash Disability Law attorneys are experts in Social Security disability law and can present your case in a way that Social Security can understand. Contact us for a free evaluation of your situation.