We have been winning Social Security disability cases (both SSDI and SSI) since 1993. And we look forward to winning yours!
Applying for Social Security disability benefits is an extraordinarily difficult process, unfortunately. It is very difficult to navigate this process alone. Retaining professional representation to help you navigate this process is very important. In fact, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that disability claimants who had representatives, such as attorney, were allowed benefits at a rate nearly 3 times higher than those without representatives. So, our advice to you, is do not proceed on your own. You might think you can do it, but you are putting yourself at a huge statistical disadvantage by now enlisting the assistance of a professional disability representative.
The Benefits of Disability Representation
By law, you are entitled to representation in your disability case. It does not matter if you are filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Having representation is essential. There are two basic types of representation: (1) a disability lawyer, also referred to as a disability attorney; (2) or a disability advocate. These 2 types of representative perform essentially the same function, but there are key differences. A disability lawyer or attorney typically handles many different types of cases, such as worker’s compensation, personal injury, family law, etc. A disability advocate (also called a non-attorney representation firm) only handles Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases. For this, you obtain significant benefits. In addition to a higher approval rating, representatives take the stress out of the process! You can focus on your health and well-being while your representative focuses on getting your disability claim approved – it is their job! At The Law Offices of Timothy McCandless, we take our commitment to you seriously. We have seen every type of disability case, and we have received favorable decisions in some incredibly complex cases. Because we specialize in SSDI and SSI, we understand how to get even the most complex cases approved.
The Disability Claims Process
The Social Security Administration has developed a complex process for evaluating whether an individual is “disabled.” At the Initial Application stage of the process (which generally takes 3-4 months), it is much more likely that a claim will be denied than approved. In fact, approximately 80% of claims are denied at this stage. Accordingly, it is essential that an appeal of the denial is filed in a timely manner. Once an appeal is filed, the claim moves to the Reconsideration stage. At the Reconsideration stage, nearly 90% of claims are denied! It is also essential that an appeal is filed when a Reconsideration denial is received. When an appeal of a Reconsideration denial is submitted, it is a Request for a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. After a long wait (typically 12-24 months), a Hearing is conducted by an Administrative Law Judge. The probability of winning increases significantly at this stage. As such, it is critical to have representation (either a disability attorney or disability lawyer or a non-attorney disability advocate) prior to your disability Hearing.
How Do I Qualify for SSDI or SSI?
Social Security Administration’s requirements for disability benefits are very complex. You must have a severe medical impairment which prevents you from working and earning a substantial amount. So, you can work part-time, but it cannot be substantial in nature. If you work full-time, you are generally ineligible for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for SSDI (the “main” program), you must have worked and paid FICA taxes in 5 of the 10 years that preceded the date you became disabled. As long as you have enough work credits, you can still have resources (stocks, bonds, etc.), but again you cannot be working full-time. To qualify for SSI (a need-based program), there is no work requirement, but you cannot have significant household income or resources. For example, your spouse’s income and resources will be considered when SSA evaluates your eligibility for disability benefits.
How Do I Get Started?
It is essential to retain professional representation. At sThe Law Offices of Timothy McCandless, we offer a free case evaluation. During our free case evaluation, we will determine what path is the best path to get you approved for benefits. You can hire The Law Offices of Timothy McCandless at any point in the disability claims process. Whether you need to file an initial application for benefits, appeal a denial, or prepare for an upcoming disability Hearing, we can help you. We look forward to helping you win!
Attorney at law, specializing in litigation, labor law overtime, criminal record expungement, partnership dissolution, and Real Estate workout solutions. Employment law claims and Wage and Hour claims Wrongful termination View all posts by timothymccandless