Social Security disability (SSD) claims can be tricky. You must follow specific steps. There is a lot of paperwork for you to fill out. Most people have never filled out this type of application before. Without knowledge of legal terms and processes, your claim may be denied. As such, the importance of hiring a skilled Social Security disability attorney cannot be overstated.
Enlisting the services of a qualified SSD lawyer can significantly improve your chances of approval. This starts with extensive knowledge of the Social Security disability benefits program. An experienced lawyer will know how to build the strongest case possible. A knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyer can help you every step of the way.
Knowledge of Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent government agency. It is in charge of running Social Security. This includes outlining how disability benefits work. The SSA also approves and denies claims for disability benefits. Like other government programs, Social Security is very complex. The dense documentation is filled with many technical terms. It can be very hard for the average person to understand fully.
A dedicated Social Security disability lawyer is specifically trained in how the benefits program works. They know what the SSA requires. For instance, they can explain work credits and how many you need to qualify for benefits. They can tell you whether your disability is listed in the SSA Blue Book of impairments.
SSD lawyers are well-equipped to assess whether an applicant has a good chance of being approved. A skilled SSD attorney knows what goes into a successful application. They can help you maximize the payment amount you may receive. They can also help to speed up the process where possible and reduce wait times. With their specific experience in this field, Social Security disability attorneys can help you put your best foot forward with the SSA.
Familiarity With the Complex Application Process
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) isn’t a simple affair. Filling out the paperwork is the first step. The forms can be confusing. They are filled with obscure legal language. Some people try to do this on their own, thinking it is straightforward. But, many applicants are denied on their first try. It can be a great source of frustration.
A qualified SSD lawyer will have filled out these same forms many times before. They are intimately familiar with the paperwork and what it all means. With their training and experience, they understand the legal jargon. And, they can help explain it to you in simple terms. Proving your disability is one aspect of the forms. There are also non-medical criteria for SSDI you must meet.
It can be hard to stay on top of deadlines too. Your Social Security disability attorney can keep track of those so you never miss any filing requirements. Your application is in good hands.
Gathering Medical Evidence and Documentation
A common reason the SSA denies some disability claims is a lack of medical evidence. A simple diagnosis often isn’t enough. Even if the condition is in the Blue Book, the SSA may deny your claim. This may be because there is enough documentation to support the diagnosis. Or, the SSA may not feel you’ve proven that your disability stops you from working.
To improve your chances of approval, you must submit adequate medical support for your claim. Your Social Security disability attorney can work to gather this evidence. Comprehensive medical records are of critical importance. This may include hospital stays, medication history, and other records. You must establish the severity of the disability. Not everyone with the same diagnosis experiences it the same way. Also, the evidence must meet SSA requirements.
Your SSA lawyer can help collect relevant medical documentation for your claim. This may be based on past tests and medical visits. Or, they may suggest additional evidence to strengthen your claim. They can advocate with medical staff to get the support you need. This is a crucial part of the SSD application process.
Skilled at Presenting Your Case Effectively
Throwing everything and the kitchen sink at your claim is not effective. Rather, it’s about providing the right supporting documents. Taken together, they should provide a strong case for why the SSA should approve your application. A skilled SSD lawyer knows how to present your case in the most effective manner possible.
They can ensure your SSDI application is coherent and consistent. The medical records should support one another. Medical reports should align with work reports. This becomes even more important if your case is taken before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your lawyer can represent you, positioning the evidence to best support your claim. It’s how the package is presented and what points they emphasize. Your lawyer can help prepare you for how best to answer any questions the judge may ask.
If medical experts are called in, your Social Security disability attorney can question them. The cross-examination can work in your favor. It can demonstrate why you should qualify for SSD benefits.
Understanding How SSDI Appeals Work
Ideally, the SSA approves your application the first time around. Unfortunately, most SSD claims are denied on the first try. This is especially true when people try to do it themselves. Hiring a skilled SSD lawyer can greatly improve your chances of approval. If you’ve been denied, the next step is to appeal that decision.
You may have tried applying on your own the first time. Or, you may have worked with an SSD attorney. Either way, you will want an SSD lawyer on your side for the appeals process. It is perhaps more confusing and complex than the initial application. Legal representation is paramount if you want to win an SSDI appeal. Specialized knowledge and experience are invaluable.
The reality is that many Social Security claims go through several appeals. These have strict deadlines. Your attorney will stay on top of these dates and ensure your appeals are filed on time. Each time, your lawyer can work to strengthen your claim. All it might take is clarifying a misunderstanding.
Managing Legal Challenges and Complexities
Despite your best legal advice, complications may arise with your disability claim. Some issues may involve your past work experience, for example. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits. If your employment records don’t line up, this can delay your approval. Vocational experts may challenge your inability to work. Remember that you must be unable to work to be eligible for disability benefits.
Issues like these and more can seriously hamper your case. A qualified Social Security disability lawyer knows how to handle these types of legal challenges. The complexities can be very technical. It takes specialized skills to overcome these roadblocks. There may be some evidence, like a work manager’s opinion, that can work against your case. Your disability attorney can help to explain the issues and help to resolve hesitations on the part of SSA and the ALJ.
In fact, experienced SSD lawyers often know their district’s administrative law judges. This can help them decide how to advocate on your behalf. By knowing an ALJ’s patterns and inclinations, the lawyer can try to leverage these biases in your favor.
Avoiding Potential Mistakes and SSD Pitfalls
Many applicants make mistakes when trying to claim SSD benefits. They may include information on their application that they shouldn’t. Other mistakes are errors of omission. They forget or don’t know to include crucial information. Or, they post about their disability on social media. Those posts can undermine their disability case.
A disability lawyer can advise you on common mistakes to avoid when applying for SSDI. They can help to fill out the application on your behalf. They can provide legal counsel on what you should or should not do. This can improve your chances of approval. Common pitfalls include:
- Continuing to go to work
- Collecting unemployment
- Missing appeal deadlines
- Ignoring a doctor’s orders
- Not taking prescribed medication
- Submitting an incomplete application
Benefits of Hiring Keefe Law for All Your SSDI Needs
Before you apply for SSDI, call the team at Keefe Disability Law. The claim process can get increasingly complex very quickly. It is invaluable to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of Social Security Disability Insurance. The attorneys at Keefe Law have years of experience working on many Social Security cases. We have in-depth knowledge of the process. We have the specialized skills to develop strategies to improve your chances of expedient approval.
You don’t need to take on the complications of Social Security alone. By hiring a skilled SSD lawyer, you can remove unneeded stress from your shoulders. Plus, you have nothing to lose. Cost is one of the most common reasons people don’t hire lawyers. But, all SSDI cases are handled on a contingency basis.
What this means is you only have to pay your lawyer if they help you win your case. If you don’t get paid, neither do we. It is in our best interest to help you win. That’s why we will always put in our best efforts to get your application approved.
Also, attorney fees for SSDI cases are controlled by the federal government. They can be no more than 25% of your back benefit. That is the amount you are owed since you first developed your disability. The attorney fees also can be no more than $7,200. The most you can possibly pay is the lesser of these two figures. Without a skilled lawyer, you may not receive disability benefit payments at all. At Keefe Law, we are always fair and transparent with our clients. We are on your side.