On the surface, it might not seem to make sense to speak to a Social Security disability attorney if your claim is pending. You’ve already submitted the application, and have not received a denial. Yet.
There is always the chance that your claim will be approved the first time around, but the odds are against it. The vast majority of Social Security disability claims are rejected the first time around, so you should accept from the beginning that you will probably need to file an appeal before the benefits start arriving. When it's time to file an appeal, there's nobody on your side more valuable than a Social Security disability attorney.
The Advantages of Working with a Social Security Disability Attorney
When you hire a Social Security Disability attorney, your chances of being approved increase significantly. If your original claim is denied, an attorney can help you successfully accomplish the following appeal steps:
- Collect and submit important medical evidence
- Get a written opinion from your treating physician
- Present your medical details so that you appear to meet a listed impairment in the Social Security Blue Book or, at the very least, are entitled to benefits under a medical vocational allowance
- Prepare you for questions you may be asked by the administrative law judge (ALJ)
Preparing for reconsiderations and appeals is a complicated and confusing process that calls for the completion of several forms and an understanding of all applicable deadlines. For example, if the reconsideration of your claim is denied, you must request a hearing within 60 days of receiving the denial. If your condition changes for the worse and there is new medical evidence for the ALJ to consider, the details have to be submitted at the time of the hearing request or within 10 days afterward. Otherwise the ALJ may decline to consider the evidence.
This is a lot for you to keep track of when you are already too sick or injured to work. When you engage a Social Security Disability attorney, you can leave this complicated and time-sensitive work to your attorney.
Affording a Social Security Disability Attorney
The number one reason why disability applicants do not hire an attorney is the anticipated cost. If you’re already struggling to make ends meet without a steady income, how can you afford to pay for professional legal counsel?
With Social Security disability cases, the reality is that your attorney will be compensated when you are. You are not required to pay a retainer followed by hourly fees. The lawyer will receive up to 25% of your disability back payments, to a maximum of $6,000. If you lose the case, you do not have to pay.
While it's true that there is not a wealth of help an attorney can provide if you're waiting for your claim to be processed, odds are that you'll be denied upon your initial application. If (and likely when) that denial arrives, the benefits of having experienced legal representation will outweigh any costs.