Being diagnosed with a disabling injury or illness that prevents work or substantial gainful activity (SGA) can threaten to turn your life upside down. Though you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you can no longer work due to a disabling medical condition, the application process is complex, lengthy, and notoriously difficult. Up to 70 percent of SSDI claims are initially denied, often due to preventable errors. The entire situation can feel frustrating and overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Hiring an experienced SSDI attorney to handle your application can provide much-needed peace of mind and even improve your chances for approval.
Unfortunately, for many people, trying to find the right disability lawyer is almost as intimidating as navigating the application process without professional guidance. It shouldn’t -- and doesn’t have to – be that way.
At Keefe Disability Law, our seasoned Boston attorneys offer free initial consultations to help prospective clients learn more about the SSDI program, whether they might qualify, and how we can assist them. Have you scheduled an appointment to talk to us about an SSDI claim or appeal? Here’s what you should know, including what to expect, what to bring, and what you can do to make the most of your complimentary consultation.
What to Expect: We Help You Gain a Better Understanding of a Complex Process
During this initial consultation, we’ll review SSDI’s duration, medical determinable impairment (MDI), and work credit requirements, discuss substantial gainful activity (SGA) and what it means for your claim, and provide an overview of the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits.
We’ll also ask questions to learn about you, your situation, and how we can help. Typically, we ask clients to describe the following:
- Their education, training, and work history
- What they do at their current job (or did in their most recent role)
- Whether they’ve worked in jobs that pay into the Social Security trust fund
- Their medical diagnosis and prognosis
- How the condition limits them in the workplace (how long can they sit or stand, how much weight can they lift and carry, how often they need breaks or other accommodations, etc.)
What to Bring
Prospective clients often worry that if they forget to bring something important to their consultation, we won’t be able to help them. The good news is the only thing we need for this first meeting is you. If we think we can bring value to your claim and agree to represent you, we can get documents from you at a late date – or even help you get the information and documentation we need. However, if you have lists of the following, bring them with you:
- Start and end dates for jobs you’ve had in the past ten years
- Names and addresses of every doctor you’ve seen for your MDI
- Medications, ongoing treatments, past surgeries, and upcoming procedures
What to Ask
Social Security disability law is a complex area of practice. Having an SSDI attorney who understands the nuances of the application process is essential. Asking these questions can help you decide if the lawyer you’re meeting with has what it takes to handle your claim competently.
- How long have you been practicing?
- How many cases like mine have you handled?
- How often do you obtain successful outcomes?
- Will you handle my case or hand it off to a paralegal?
What an SSDI Attorney Can Do
Most do-it-yourself SSDI claims are denied. Don’t risk it. Let a knowledgeable and experienced SSDI attorney handle all the legal heavy lifting while you focus on feeling the best you can. Here are just a few of the ways we can help:
- Get information from your Social Security file
- Help you obtain medical records or other information from acceptable medical sources (AMS) to support your claim
- Come with you to (or take your place at) any interview, conference, or hearing with the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Appeal a denied claim, requesting a reconsideration, a hearing, or an Appeals Council review
- Question witnesses and prepare them – and you – for hearings
Don’t Have an Appointment? Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation Here
Complete the online contact form or call Keefe Disability Law at (508) 283-5500 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation with a member of our team.