More than 2.4 million people file for Social Security Disability (SSD) each year in the United States. Considering that the majority of those claims are initially denied, you may be wondering if you need a Social Security disability lawyer to handle your case.
Statistics show that having an attorney handle your SSD case significantly increases your chances of having your benefits approved and reduces the likelihood your claim will be denied due to common error or other technicalities.
A Social Security Disability attorney will build your case
The process of completing a SSD claim is foreign to most applicants. As such, they do not know how to thoroughly prepare the claim. An experienced SSD attorney understands Social Security rules and regulations and how to properly develop a case to position it in the best possible way for their clients.
A SSD lawyer offers advice and counsel in completing the initial application, making sure your condition meets one of the listed impairments in the Social Security Administration’s “blue book”. Your lawyer will also work to obtain the most favorable “onset date,” of your disability. This is very important, as this date determines how much you receive in back pay.
My SSD claim was denied. What happens next?
In most cases, applications for SSD benefits are initially denied. This does not mean that you are not entitled to benefits. The next step is to appeal this decision. There are four levels of appeal:
- Reconsideration: After filing a request for consideration, a claims examiner will reconsider your application.
- Hearing: If your claim is denied again or if you are not satisfied with the results, you may request a hearing by an administrative law judge.
- Appeals Council: If you are not satisfied with the judge’s determination, you can request that your case be reviewed by the Social Security Appeals Council. If the Council grants you another hearing, your case may be resolved at that point or it may be resent to the administrative judge.
- Federal Court: You can choose to file a lawsuit in federal district court if your claim is denied for review by an administrative law judge or if you disagree with the decision of the Appeal Council.
Legal representation in the appeals process
At the reconsideration phase, consideration is given to any new evidence that will support your claim. Your attorney may collect relevant medical documents or doctor statements and submit that information. Your attorney will also respond on your behalf to any of the examiner’s questions.
At the hearing stage, your lawyer will argue your case before the judge, question experts and witnesses, and present new evidence or information. You may be asked questions at your hearing and your attorney will prepare you to respond. Your lawyer may also request that the judge subpoena witnesses to provide testimony to support your claim.
If your claim proceeds to the Appeals Council or federal court, your lawyer will draft the appropriate legal arguments to demonstrate that your case was wrongly denied.
Experience matters. Count on The Golden Law Group to help you with your Social Security disability claim
The Social Security disability claims process is complex and can be quite confusing. The dedicated team of Brandon Social Security disability attorneys at The Golden Law Group have both the experience and the resources necessary to effectively navigate the claims process on your behalf. From gathering vital information for your claim through the appeals process, our SSD lawyers are by your side. Contact our Brandon office at (813) 375-0098 or online to schedule a free consultation. Offices in Brandon and Bradenton for your convenience.