Working With an SSD Lawyer
When Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney?
The general rule of thumb as far as when you should hire a Social Security Disability lawyer is “as soon as possible.” The earlier you speak to an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, the better chances you have of your SSD application being approved. Before you file your application for SSD benefits, a knowledgeable SSD attorney can review your case’s strength and assist you with your application to ensure it will be complete. Further, those who have legal representation from the very beginning will be responsible for a smaller amount of attorney’s fees (if you wait until the appeal state, your disability attorney is entitled to receive 25 percent of your back-pay).
While having an attorney help you with your initial application is smart, having an attorney assist you following an initial denial is essential. Not only are your chances of obtaining the disability benefits you need significantly increased once you have an attorney on board, it is also likely your case will move more quickly through the system when you have a lawyer, particularly if your financial or medical condition is especially dire. When you have an attorney in your corner, he or she is able to send the judge a request for an OTR decision (“on-the-record”), meaning you could be approved for your Social Security Disability benefits without a hearing.
Even with an attorney, remember that SSD cases often take a very long time to be resolved—from many months to years. There is possibly only one time you should wait to call an experienced SSD attorney—when you have submitted your initial Social Security Disability application on your own and are waiting for a decision. This is because there is virtually nothing an attorney could do at this point, so it’s better to wait and see whether your application is approved or denied. If your initial application is rejected, it is absolutely time to call an attorney.
From your initial application to the ALJ hearing and further appeals, your Social Security Disability attorney will know the way to present your case for the better chance of success. He or she will help you focus on the facts that will be the most persuasive to SSA or the Administrative Law Judge. After an initial denial, during the reconsideration step, your attorney can submit relevant medical evidence, draft a detailed brief to the ALJ, obtain a favorable opinion from your physician, and prepare you for any questions the judge may ask you.
If your ALJ hearing is unsuccessful, your attorney will be with you through the Appeals Council level and the federal court level, crafting persuasive legal arguments to help prove your case was wrongly denied. Throughout your case, your attorney will develop a “theory” of your disability to prove your condition meets the listings of Social Security Disability. This theory will indicate that you meet the listing by showing that you are prevented from working because of your limited exertion level or other non-exertional limitations, such as concentration and memory, prevent you from working. If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability benefits or have already been denied those benefits, contact Carmichael Law Group today. We can help you get the disability benefits you are entitled to receive.