There are roughly 10 million people in the United States who receive Social Security disability benefits, making it an important and obtainable safety net for those who are unable to work because of a disability. That said, receiving benefits can be challenging – and it can take time, especially if you make mistakes when filing a claim.
Unfortunately, while the bureaucratic nature of disability programs is designed to keep people from taking advantage of the system, it can also make it difficult for those who desperately need help to receive the benefits they need. This is why many people choose to hire a lawyer who can help them navigate the process and give them a better chance of receiving benefits as soon as possible.
Here, we are going to take a look at several reasons a social security disability attorney can help those applying for benefits, including completing your application, filing your claim properly and on time, reviewing your medical documentation, and more.
For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, we encourage you to get in touch with the social security disability lawyers at the Karl Truman Law Office.
Filling out in-depth applications and paperwork, particularly for the government, often brings a lot of questions. Do I really need to provide this information? Why is this important? How do I find that? Consider, for example, filing your taxes. Knowing exactly how much information – and what information – you should provide is not always clear. It can be a time-consuming, frustrating process.
While most of the paperwork we fill out is relatively easy to fix if we get it wrong, the stakes are high with disability applications. Not being able to work and provide for yourself and your loved ones is a difficult situation to be in, and you need to do everything you can to get approved for benefits as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, with approximately 70% of initial applications being denied, most who apply for SSDI are not successful at first. While this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to receive benefits since you can appeal, it does add time to the process, extending your financial uncertainty.
An attorney who understands the disability claims process can give you a better chance of getting approved quicker while taking the application burden off your shoulders.
One of the most frustrating reasons disability claims are denied is because of incorrect filing. While this could be related to the omission of important information, it could also be something as simple as transposing letters or words. An attorney can take the meticulous, detail-oriented approach needed to ensure the accuracy of your information and file the claim properly.
Also, while there is technically no time limit for applying for social security disability, the work credits needed to receive benefits do expire – typically within 5 years of when you last worked. In addition, you are only able to receive retroactive benefits for the 12 months before being granted benefits.
A social security disability lawyer will be aware of all time constraints, ensuring you don’t miss important deadlines that could impact your ability to receive the full amount of benefits you deserve.
Beyond technical denials, such as an applicant not filling out paperwork properly or not having enough work credits, the second most common type of denials is medical denials.
Generally, these stem from an applicant not providing sufficient medical documentation in their applications. With applications, you need to not only show all documentation of your disability – including tests, diagnoses, and other medical files – but you also need your doctor to document that your disability is impacting your ability to work. Even if you are receiving regular medical attention from a physician, if there are no documents from the physician stating your disability is making it difficult or impossible for you to work, your claim may be denied.
Working with a social security disability attorney will help ensure you understand the level of detail needed for your medical documentation, helping you avoid a medical denial.
Before a decision is made for your disability claim, a disability examiner may reach out for additional documentation. As with the initial application process, these requests can be confusing and frustrating.
An attorney will be able to handle this for you, ensuring you provide the correct documentation while submitting everything promptly to keep your case moving as fast as possible.
While an attorney’s first job should be to do everything possible to help you get SSDI benefits, a good lawyer will also help you find additional ways to receive benefits.
For example, if you are denied SSDI benefits, you may be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead. Unlike SSDI, SSI benefits are not based on work credits, meaning you don’t have to meet requirements around how long – or how recently – you have worked. In fact, you don’t need to have any work history to qualify for SSI benefits.
There are other programs you may qualify for as well, including private disability programs through your employer or, if you served in the military, you may qualify for VA disability compensation. We can help you understand all options available to you, which can either be in place of or in addition to Social Security benefits.
If you are considering filing for disability benefits – or have recently been denied benefits – we hope this has given you a better understanding of how a lawyer can help. It’s often a challenging process, but by working with a social security disability attorney who understands the information needed and how the system works, it can be made much easier on applicants.
To speak with us directly about your situation over a free case review, we encourage your to get in touch with the Karl Truman Law Office today by calling our Louisville, Kentucky office at (502) 222-2222.