Disability Lawyers: What Do Social Security Disability Attorneys Do For You?

by Laura Schaefer   ·  2 months ago  
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Afraid to get help from a disability lawyer because you don’t know how much they charge? If you’re confused about what disability lawyers can actually do to help your disability benefits case, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for all the facts you need about disability attorneys and how they can cover your SSD application fees and give you the extra help you need to win your SSI or SSDI application claim.

What Does a Disability Lawyer Do?

Disability lawyers can act on your behalf in many ways when dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA). They can get information from your Social Security file and pull medical records or other evidence to support your claim. If you have mobility or transportation issues, disability lawyers can attend any SSA interview, conference, or hearing in your place. Yes, this means you won’t have to go to court yourself or even talk to the judge!

If the Social Security Administration denies your request for benefits, disability lawyers can request a reconsideration or file your appeal paperwork immediately. They can also request a new hearing date or Appeals Council review. Disability lawyers can also help prepare you and any witnesses prepare for your appeals hearing.

Finally, they receive a copy of the SSA’s decision about your claim. This is good, because disability lawyers can then help you understand why the SSA denied your application for benefits.

Do You Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

Wondering if you need a lawyer for your Social Security disability claim? Let’s break it down. While it’s not mandatory, having a social security disability attorney can really boost your chances of success. Here’s why: between 2010 and 2019, a staggering 38.22% of all applications were denied due to technical issues, according to the Social Security Administration. That’s compared to 28.29% for medical reasons. So, it’s not just about your health condition; the documentation and the way you provide it matters too.

A disability lawyer knows all the ins and outs of the application process and can help you navigate those technicalities. They’ll guide you through gathering medical evidence, getting ready for hearings, and dealing with any other issues that come up. You’re three times more likely to be approved for benefits with a disability attorney on your side, so, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about the process, having a disability lawyer on your side could make a big difference in your case.

3 Ways a Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help You With Your Claim

There are some key reasons why SSI and SSDI lawyers make sense if you have no money or resources to your name. If you’re living hand-to-mouth, it can be hard to attend hearings or pay doctors for your complete medical records. That’s where an attorney comes in:

1. Disability lawyers can pay for costly medical records you cannot afford to buy yourself.

Medical records aren’t free, and some may cost more than you can afford. Lawyers know exactly which ones best support your claim and pay those costs up front without charging you. Your attorney can then pay to send the ones the SSA needs for your claim via certified mail. That way, you have proof that will stand up in court showing which SSA agent received them and when. A paper trail like this is key for winning your case faster and getting paid the most benefits you’re owed!

2. Attorneys can attend your hearings without you there.

Your lawyer can represent you in your ALJ appeals hearing so you can stay home and rest. If you’re very ill, in pain, can’t get a ride or deal with bad weather, this is a great option. And a lawyer gives you the best chance for winning your appeal without having to physically appear in court.

3. If you’re a veteran, disability lawyers may bill the federal government for your legal fees.

Disability lawyers can also help eligible disabled veterans mistakenly turned down for benefits. If the government’s error cost you benefits, your legal fees may get covered under the Equal Access to Justice ActThe EAJA is a law that says the government has to pay legal fees for anyone who sues them for money they’re rightfully owed and wins. It covers attorney’s fees up to $125/hour plus other costs (like filing paperwork or medical records) associated with your case.

What to Look for in an Disability Attorney

When navigating the complexities of disability law, finding the right SSDI and SSI lawyers can make all the difference. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a disability attorney to represent your case.

Experience and Specialization

One of the first things to consider is the attorney’s experience in handling disability cases. Look for a lawyer who specializes in disability law and has a track record of success in similar cases. Experience brings valuable insight into the nuances of disability law, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Understanding of Disability Law

A proficient disability attorney should have a deep understanding of federal and state disability laws, as well as regulations governing the specific type of disability you’re dealing with. They should be well-versed in the eligibility criteria for disability benefits and know how to navigate the application or appeals process effectively.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is essential when working with a disability attorney. Look for an attorney who listens attentively to your concerns, explains legal concepts in plain language, and keeps you informed about the progress of your case. Clear and open communication fosters trust and ensures that you are fully involved in the decision-making process.

Compassion and Empathy

Dealing with a disability can be emotionally and physically taxing. A compassionate attorney understands the challenges you face and approaches your case with empathy and sensitivity. They should advocate for your rights with both legal expertise and genuine care for your well-being.

Accessibility and Availability

Accessibility and availability are crucial factors in building a strong attorney-client relationship. Choose an attorney who is accessible when you need them and responds promptly to your inquiries. Regular communication fosters trust and confidence in your attorney’s ability to handle your case effectively.

Reputation and Reviews

searching an attorney’s reputation and reading client reviews can provide valuable insights into their professionalism, reliability, and success rate. Look for testimonials from satisfied clients and consider consulting trusted sources, such as bar associations, for recommendations.

Selecting the right disability attorney is a significant decision that can greatly impact the outcome of your case. By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can find an attorney who is dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you obtain the disability benefits you deserve.

How Much Do Disability Attorneys Charge?

Navigating the legal complexities of disability claims often involves the assistance of a qualified attorney, but understanding the costs involved is crucial. Fortunately, disability lawyers are much more affordable than you may think: they only get paid if you win, and their maximum payment is capped, ensuring a predictable payment structure to make it easier to seek legal representation for your disability case.

1. All disability lawyers work on contingency — and if you win, you’ll only pay a one-time fee

Chances are good that you can, in fact, afford a lawyer, because you’ll pay nothing if your case doesn’t win. In fact, federal law says disability lawyers cannot charge more than 25% of past-due benefits — or $7,200, whichever is less. This legal fee limit took effect on November 30, 2022. With these new rules in place, recent SSA legal fee statistics show most people receiving benefits pay close to $3,000 taken out of a $14,000 average back pay award.

2. There are no hidden or extra fees

The Social Security Administration has to approve payment amounts for disability lawyers before they’re paid. Why is that good for you? It means your attorney can’t sneak in any extra fees.

According to the SSA, in most cases, your lawyer can’t charge you anything without getting written approval from them first. However, your attorney may accept money from you in advance if they hold it in a trust or escrow account. Both you and your lawyer are responsible for providing the SSA with accurate payment information.

3. You don’t pay disability lawyers anything if you don’t win SSD benefits

A disability attorney cannot charge clients whose claims do not result in benefits or back pay awards. So if you don’t win your case, you pay the lawyer $0 for helping you. But you should also know you’re nearly three times more likely to get SSD benefits if a lawyer files your paperwork.

Work With a Disability Lawyer to Secure Your SSD Benefits

Many claimants say they’re nervous about filling out government forms online or want to speak to a lawyer in private. We can match you with someone local who offers confidential, in-person consultations to answer all your questions. All we need is your ZIP code to find the closest office that can help you right away. We also need the best way to contact you so the lawyer’s office can call or email to schedule your appointment. This service is completely free, and deciding what to do next after your free consultation is entirely up to you.

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.