In 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) is expected to receive more than three million claims for Social Security Disability benefits. If history is any indication of future applicant success, nearly 70 percent of these claims will be denied during the initial stage of the application process. To further complicate the matter, more than 80 percent of initial appeals will be denied by the SSA as well. This means that more than half of the disabled workers who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will have to appear before an administrative law judge at a disability hearing if they ever hope to receive the monthly disability benefits they desperately need at any point in the future.
While nearly two-thirds of disability applicants are awarded disability benefits at the hearing stage of the appeal process, it takes a Guam Social Security Disability applicant a lot of time and frustration before being granted their day in court. In fact, these applicants must wait nearly a year from the time they submit their request before they are scheduled for a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Once the hearing has been obtained and the judge has heard the applicant's case, it takes another 45 to 90 days for a Guam Social Security Disability applicant to be notified regarding whether or not the judge has decided in their favor.
The fact of the matter is that Social Security Disability applicants all over the nation wait extensive periods of time before being scheduled for a disability hearing and, believe it or not, the wait times experienced by Guam Social Security Disability applicants are actually much shorter than the wait times encountered by applicants living in some other areas of the nation.
The agency that is in charge of scheduling disability hearings is the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of the United States that you live in is what determines which ODAR office is in charge of scheduling your hearing before an administrative law judge. The disability hearings for Guam Social Security Disability applicants are scheduled by the ODAR office located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It takes this office an average of 315 days to schedule a hearing for a disability applicant. This means that most Guam Social Security Disability applicants must wait more than a year before receiving their first disability payment from the SSA.
Hiring a Guam Social Security Disability Attorney
Many disability applicants hope to avoid the appeal process altogether. By avoiding the need for a disability appeal, an applicant could technically obtain disability benefits in just a few short months. The only problem is, the majority of these applicants don't know what to do to increase their chances of being awarded benefits at the initial application stage, thereby avoiding the need for a disability appeal altogether.
The best way to avoid the need for a disability appeal is to retain the services of a qualified Guam Social Security Disability lawyer. When you hire a disability lawyer, the professional you choose will work with you to complete your disability claim forms and gather the medical evidence that will be necessary to provide your disability case to the SSA. He or she will also ensure that your claim is presented in the best light possible, increasing your chances of an approval at the initial application stage.
If, for some reason, your application for benefits is denied by the SSA, your Guam Social Security Disability attorney will help you through the appeal processing, filing the proper paperwork and representing you at your disability hearing. Your lawyer will also prepare you for this hearing, advising you as to what you should expect and how you should present yourself during your court appearance.
Due to the extensive wait times that are required to obtain a hearing before an administrative law judge, you should do everything in your power to ensure the odds are in your favor. Statistics show that Guam Social Security Disability applicants who obtain legal representation are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.
Fortunately, the services of a qualified Guam Social Security Disability attorney do not have to be cost prohibitive. The majority of these attorneys work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back pay you are awarded by the SSA. The amount collected by your attorney will never exceed $6,000. For example, if you are awarded $20,000 in back payments your attorney would receive $5,000 from that amount. If you were awarded $40,000, your attorney would receive $6,000 instead of the full 25 percent of your back payment amount.
Click here if you would like to learn more about hiring a Guam Social Security Disability lawyer and to receive a free evaluation of your Guam Social Security Disability case.