Applying for disability benefits can be a challenging experience. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which is the federal agency administering the assessment and distribution of benefits, has exacting criteria for eligibility.
The whole process of applying for disability benefits can take at least six months. If your application is denied initially and you are forced to appeal, the process can take much longer.
A disability lawyer can help you prepare suitable documentation at any stage of your application for disability benefits. Legal help may increase your chances of obtaining benefits earlier than if you did everything by yourself.
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits With a Lawyer?
There is no predetermined time for disability benefits claims as each claim is unique. Unless the applicant is assessed under special circumstances which means that their application is dealt with under urgency, claims can typically take at least six months or more.
If you work with a disability attorney from the start of the application, you may find that the time taken to reach a favorable decision is reduced significantly. While there is no guarantee that working with a lawyer will lead to obtaining benefits, you should find that the whole process may take less time to come to a decision one way or another.
How Can a Lawyer Speed Up Your Claim?
Many disability benefits applications are held up or denied because the applicant has not provided sufficient proof that
- their disability met the criteria established by the SSA;
- they were unable to continue gainful employment for at least the next 12 months;
- they qualified for either the SSDI payment because of their work history or an SSI payment because of lack of assets or income.
A disability attorney can help speed up your claim right at the beginning by the knowledge and experience they have acquired of the SSA’s disability benefits application process. They can ensure you have sufficient evidence to convince the SSA you are eligible for disability benefits. If the application process is denied initially and an appeal is necessary, they can be able to help you at hearings and represent you in court if required.
When Should I Hire A Lawyer?
A disability lawyer can be hired at any stage of the disability benefits application process. Disability benefits applicants often times leave hiring an attorney until late in the process or when they have to appeal a denied application, thinking that it would be too expensive paying legal fees.
However, many disability lawyers defer fees until an application is successful and their legal help can mean the difference between a favorable application obtained sooner rather than having to wait for many months or years before a decision is made to grant benefits if you attempt to do all the work by yourself.
This means that it is advisable to hire a lawyer as early as possible, but be aware that legal help is available at any stage of an application.
Get in Touch With a Disability Lawyer
Applying for disability benefits can be confusing and challenging. It can take many months or even years if you apply on your own. Legal help from a disability lawyer can reduce the time taken to reach a favorable decision.
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