when to get a disability attorney

by Amina Herzog 10 min read

The need for a Social Security disability lawyer arises when your initial claim for Social Security Disability is denied. It is at this point that you should consider hiring an attorney to represent your interests. When your initial claim for Social Security disability is denied you will have to go through an appeal process.

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When to talk to a Social Security disability lawyer?

On the initial application, your lawyer can offer advice on your "alleged onset date" of disability, argue that your condition meets one of the listed impairments in Social Security's "blue book," and help you focus on the facts that will be most persuasive to Social Security. At the reconsideration and hearing levels (the first and second level of appeal in most states), your lawyer can collect …

How can I get a disability lawyer for free?

Nov 12, 2021 · While you can enlist the help of a disability lawyer at any time during the claims process, many people choose to hire an attorney before they start their disability application. When you have a lawyer working with you from early on, you may be able to garner an approval earlier and get awarded the benefits that you need.

How much does a Social Security disability lawyer cost?

If you wait until you have a court date, the attorney will probably not have enough time to properly prepare your case. There is no legal requirement that you have an attorney if you are going to court, but keep in mind that even an attorney will hire an attorney before showing up in court. To answer the question “Do I need a lawyer for social security disability,” simply put: hiring an …

How much will I pay in SSDI attorney fees?

Apr 08, 2022 · You also want to find an attorney who has represented clients at all stages of a claim, including filing an initial claim, submitting an appeal, and litigating the case in court. Hire A Disability Insurance Attorney with Expertise With experience comes expertise.


What are the chances of getting approved for disability?

On average, 35% of claimants get approved on the first application, 10% get approved if they appeal a denial of their application which is called a reconsideration, and approximately 50% get approved during an Administrative Law Judge hearing.

What states are hardest to get disability?

Oklahoma is the hardest state to get for Social Security disability. This state has an SSDI approval rate of only 33.4% in 2020 and also had the worst approval rate in 2019 with 34.6% of SSDI applications approved. Alaska had the second-worst approval rate, with 35.3% of applications approved in 2020 and 36.2% in 2019.

What is the most approved disability?

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal disabilities are the most commonly approved conditions for disability benefits. If you are unable to walk due to arthritis, or unable to perform dexterous movements like typing or writing, you will qualify.Dec 16, 2021

What should you not say in a disability interview?

The following five statements should never be announced at your disability hearing.“I can't work because no one will hire me.” ... “I don't know why I'm here. ... “I don't do chores because my significant other, friend or family member does them.” ... “I have never used drugs or alcohol in my life.”More items...•Oct 17, 2014

How much back pay can an attorney get?

The SSA indicates that the lawyer cannot charge more than 25 percent of your back pay, but that figure is capped at $6,000. So, if you were awarded $38,000 in backpay, your attorney will not be paid more than $6,000 per SSA guidelines.

What is the benefit of hiring a disability lawyer?

First and foremost, an attorney will serve as your advocate. Bound by professional rules and ethical obligations, your lawyer will handle your case carefully. Further, working with the SSA can be like speaking another language.

What do disability attorneys know?

Disability attorneys know the dos and don’ts of disability claims. They know what should and should not be done to get your claim on the right track. The Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA, is difficult to read and everything is written using technical content.

What does contingency mean for disability?

Disability lawyers take claims on a contingency basis, which means that your lawyer doesn't require a payment for his or her services until you are awarded disability benefits. When you are awarded benefits, the SSA has laws that indicate how much the lawyer can charge.

What can an attorney do for a disability hearing?

In addition to helping you understand what medical information is needed, your attorney can assist you in collecting and presenting the relevant medical documentation . If your case does need to be appealed at a disability hearing, your lawyer can prepare you for that meeting, helping you to feel at ease and to know exactly what to expect.

What to do if you have been denied SSDI?

If you have already been denied, however, it is still a good idea to consider legal representation . From your first appeal to a disability hearing, a Disability lawyer or advocate is likely to be a valuable asset at any point in the SSDI application process.

Why are disability claims denied?

For example, the majority of disability claims are initially denied, often due to the applicant’s inability to provide sufficient medical evidence. Additionally, there are specific deadlines that must be met throughout the application process.

What happens if you hire a disability lawyer?

If you hire a disability lawyer, the burden of compiling the necessary evidence to support your claim will fall largely on them. You won’t have to stress yourself talking to your doctors or thinking about what type of medical evidence you need to get.

How to get disability if you have never applied?

1. Conduct an Initial Review of Your Case. When you first get in touch with a disability lawyer, they will conduct an initial review of your case. If you’ve never applied for disability benefits, they will assess your eligibility for disability. But if you’ve already been denied, they will look at what went wrong with your application.

What is the SSA disability determination process?

The SSA’s disability determinations process uses an evidence-based approach in granting disability benefits. They will want you to prove that your disability really prevents you from going back to work or doing any type of income-generating activity.

What to do if your disability is denied?

If your claim gets denied at the initial application stage, you have the right to appeal the SSA’s decision. This is where an experienced disability lawyer can help you too. They can help you navigate the appeals process and file a request for reconsideration.

Does an advocate get paid if you win a disability case?

7. Doesn’t Get Paid Unless You Win. If you’ve been on the fence about hiring a disability lawyer because of monetary concerns, worry not. In most states, an attorney or advocate cannot collect fees unless you win the case. The attorney’s fee will be deducted from your total benefits once it’s released.

Is a disability lawyer required for Social Security in 2021?

June 17, 2021. When you’re applying for social security disability benefits, hiring a disability lawyer is not required by law. But doing so can be very beneficial for your case. According to the SSA, denied social security disability claims average at 53%. Most of them got denied during the initial application stage.

What factors affect the turnaround time for disability?

Some factors that can affect the turnaround time include: whether you got approved at the initial application stage. the availability of your medical records. your medical condition. the state you live in. A disability lawyer knows what the SSA wants to see and hear.

What to do if your disability application is denied?

If your initial application got denied, you have the right to request a disability hearing. To skip the wait for the hearing, your lawyer can file for an on-the-record (ORD) decision. To help you get approval at this stage, your lawyer can: help you gather substantial medical evidence proving the extent of your disability.

How many people get legal assistance without a lawyer?

Surveys also show that 60% of those who had legal assistance was approved for benefits. While only 34% of claimants got approved without a lawyer. These statistics are backed by government data which shows that applicants represented by lawyers are 2.9 times more likely to get benefits.

Who is Victor Malca?

Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.

Who is Judy Ponio?

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.

Do you need an attorney to apply for social security disability benefits?

Although you don’t necessarily need an attorney to apply for social security disability benefits, we strongly advise that you reach out to a professional before even submitting your application. Applying for benefits is not a quick or straightforward process.

How a social security disability attorney can help

When initially applying for your SSDI benefits, your social security disability attorney can help you decipher what your alleged onset date (AOD) is, which determines when you were first eligible for benefits. This date can be claimed as far back as 12 months before the date of your application.

What happens during the SSDI application process?

The first step when filing for your SSDI is to fill out the initial application. With the help of an attorney, you can be sure that your information is valid and that there are no minor mistakes that could possibly get your case denied. If you’re accepted, you can expect to start receiving your benefits in the first couple of months post-approval.

How long does it take to get social security disability benefits with a lawyer?

The path to benefits is a lengthy one. After your initial application is sent to the Social Security Administration, government data suggests that the average wait time to receive a decision is about three and a half months.

How much does a social security disability attorney cost?

In most cases, you will not need to pay your social security attorney unless you are awarded your benefits. In order to charge you after you’ve won your case, your representation first needs to file a fee agreement with the SSA.

How to find a social security disability attorney who will fight for you

It is of utmost importance to find a local disability attorney that you trust and respect. You’ll want to make sure you feel that there is an open line of communication that can be reached at any point during your process. Your SSDI attorney’s genuine and caring attitude can be just as important as their experience and knowledge.

Can I fill out paperwork for disability?

Even just filling out the paperwork for a social security disability filing can be difficult. An attorney can help you figure out the right way to do the paperwork and what you need to further support the information you’re using to file the claim. If you have an attorney, he or she can help you fill the paperwork out, go to court dates and will help you navigate everything that comes after you are successful with your claim.

Can I hire a disability lawyer after I file a claim?

You will need to retain the help of a disability lawyer before you file your claim. As Nicole found out the hard way, you cannot hire a lawyer after the claim has been filed. Although you can always use a Veteran’s Service Organization (VSO) like the DAV or VFW, it can work in your favor to have an attorney represent you in your claim.

When did Social Security stop paying for legal aid?

Many legal aid offices stopped providing representation for Social Security disability claims after a rule change in 2005 that required the Social Security Administration to pay lawyer fees in SSI cases directly to the attorney. This meant that SSI claimants would have an easier time finding lawyers to take their case.

Do disability attorneys have to pay up front?

Disability attorneys do not require their fees to be paid up front. Instead, they collect a maximum of 25% of your retroactive benefits ( backpay) or $6,000, whichever is less. Social Security pays your attorney directly out of your backpay award.

Can I get an attorney for my disability?

Applicants for Social Security disability (or SSI disability) are very unlikely to find an attorney to represent them for free, even at legal aid offices. This is because attorneys who help disability claimants work on a contingency basis, meaning that they only get paid for their work if they win your case. In addition, fees paid ...

Can SSI claimants get a lawyer?

This meant that SSI claimants would have an easier time finding lawyers to take their case. Today, many legal aid offices will represent clients only in Social Security overpayment situations, since it can be difficult to find a lawyer for help in these cases.

Can a lawyer collect disability backpay?

However, even legal aid attorneys and nonattorney advocates who are registered with Social Security are permitted to collect fees from disability backpay to compensate them for the time they spend working on your case.

What does a good attorney do?

A good attorney will give you an honest assessment of your case only after reviewing the facts. A good attorney will also admit that he or she probably can't get you approved any faster than you could on your own. Here is a sample question you should ask and a sample answer a good attorney should give you:

Can a disability firm accept children's cases?

Not all disability firms will accept children's cases, and those that do may not have much experience with them. If you are filing on behalf of a child, make sure that the firm you deal with has experience with childhood disability questions.

Do disability firms keep in touch?

Even though disability firms are busy places, you should be provided with a contact person who you can rely on to answer your questions. The firm should also keep in touch with you on a regular basis. Here are some questions you should ask to get an idea of how your case will be handled:

Can you speak to a disability attorney?

Don't be put off if you can't speak to the attorney the first time you call, or if you are asked to speak to a staff member for help with a question. This is because experienced disability attorneys spend most of their time in hearings and rely on their staff to field calls. However, a good firm should allow you to schedule a free consultation ...

Does Nolo have a disability license?

Nolo has confirmed that every listed attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with their bar association.