How Do Disability Lawyers Work?

The federal government runs a disability benefits program via the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program is designed to offer financial assistance to people that become disabled and unable to work and earn a living. Disability benefits cover the everyday living expenses as well as medical bills.

It is quite common for people to be denied disability benefits. So, if you ever feel that your application was wrongfully denied, you should consider hiring a disability lawyer to help you appeal the decision by the SSA. You should still hire an attorney if it’s your first time applying since he/she will ensure that everything is done right. The following is a description of how disability attorneys work.

Initial Review

If your disability benefits application has been denied by the SSA and you have chosen to appeal, the first thing you should consider is researching the disability attorneys in your area. You should also do research to find a disability attorney in your area even if it is your first time applying.

Once you settle on a particular law firm to work with, you should call their office, and they will conduct an initial review of the case. The lawyer looks at the particulars of your case and the reason for denial before making the decision to represent you.

Disability attorneys typically only accept cases with higher chances of success, so if you donât have a strong case, they might reject it.

Gathering Medical Evidence

To gain access to your medical records for the purpose of gathering evidence, you will be required to sign a medical privacy release allowing your lawyer to do exactly that. The lawyer will also contact your treating doctor to get written statements about your condition. The lawyer might even recommend that you undergo a consultative examination.

Pre-Hearing Meeting

If your initial claim was denied, the lawyer will hold a pre-hearing meeting before your hearing with the Social Security Administration to determine whether your case was wrongfully terminated. During the pre-hearing meeting, your lawyer will go over some of the potential questions that you will be asked. The pre-hearing meeting is also held for people applying for the first time to help familiarize themselves with the process.

Developing Theory for the Case

Prior to the hearing, the lawyer will develop a theory for the reasons for your disability and use this as a strategy for presenting your case in court. The possible theories for the disability include having a condition that meets a disability listing, being unable to perform even sedentary jobs, and being unable to perform your prior jobs.

The lawyer in most disability cases is only paid after you win the case. You will be required to sign a contingency fee stating that the SSA will pay the lawyer if you win the case. The money paid to the lawyer comes out of the back-payment amount. The lawyer is typically paid about 25 percent of the lump sum, up to $6,000.

Filing or appealing a disability claim can be quite challenging especially if you don’t know what steps to follow. Fortunately, there are disability lawyers to help you out. Based on the description of what disability attorneys actually do as shown here, you can now see why it is important to hire one to represent you.