Social Security Attorneys and What they do for you
If you have been denied for Social Security you may be wondering if it is time for you to get a Social Security attorney. This is a question that can only be answered by you the claimant. If you feel like you need to have help filing an appeal, initiating a disability application, or if you are going to have difficulty filling out disability forms, you may need to consider obtaining a Social Security Disability attorney.
Some individuals may need to hire a disability representative at the initial claims level. For some, this will be due to cognitive issues. For instance, if an individual has learning disabilities, mental illness, cannot read or write, or has memory loss.
Many individuals, however, would prefer to have their case handled by a representative simply to ensure that the process is handled correctly from the very beginning.
Some may be thinking "I have not been able to work for a long time and I have no money to pay an attorney". Fortunately, the disability system is setup so that anyone may obtain representation. Social Security Disability attorneys are not paid before services are rendered; in fact they are only paid a fee after an approval has been made on ar disability claim. If a case is not won, there is no attorney fee.
The standard fee for a Social Security attorney is twenty five percent of any back payment (up to a maximum of $6000.00), plus any additional expenses that are agreed to in the fee agreement that you sign with your attorney (such as for the cost of obtaining medical records).
If you have acquired an attorney to represent your disability claim with Social Security, you may be wondering what your attorney is going to do for you. Once you hire a Social Security Disability attorney, your attorney is responsible for filing disability paperwork for you from the initial claim through the appeals council appeal in a timely manner.
The amount of paperwork will depend on what level your claim is at when you obtain representation. But it will typically include the filing of appeals.
Also, as soon as you notify social security that you have representation, your representative will then begin to get copies of everything that is sent to you. This is to protect you, the claimant, and to ensure that your attorney or non-attorney representative stays updated on the case.
Additionally, your attorney will appear before an administrative law judge hearing on your behalf if your disability claim has to be appealed to the hearings level. This particular appeal level is where the majority of claimants will win their benefits if they have been previously denied at the disability application level.
Representation at this appeal level tends to produce a higher opportunity for winning benefits, mainly because a disability attorney will have familiarity with the rules and regulations of the Social Security administration as they apply to both the Social Security Disability and SSI disability programs. He/she will be to present the facts of your disability case in a manner that is most favorable to you, and this representation will be based, largely, on a thorough gathering of needed documentation, which, generally, will include supportive statements from your treating physicians.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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