How do you find the best Social Security disability lawyer?
First, before you even hire a lawyer, TruLaw can pre-qualify will walk you through a quiz to make sure you need help from a lawyer.
We don’t want you to pay for help if you don’t need it!
If you do qualify for legal help, we will assist you in finding the best social security lawyer for your situation.
It is very important that you hire a lawyer with special knowledge and expertise in Social Security disability claims.
The best Social Security disability lawyers will not charge for assistance with preparation up front.
Instead, they will likely ask for a percentage of the benefits received from a successful case.
These fees are generally limited to 25% of benefits with a maximum fee of $6,000.
Disability claims are complicated and in some states more than 60% of the individuals that apply are rejected.
In some situations, a lawyer will be able to help increase your odds of compensation.
Lawyers that work on contingency fees like this are invested in YOU.
They are not paid unless you are.
Individuals who are seeking social security disability benefits need the assistance of a good lawyer who believes in them.
TruLaw only works with lawyers that invest in their clients.
How can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help You?
Less than half of those individuals that apply for disability benefits are approved.
Each state has different approval rates with Kansas leading approval rates with 69.7% in 2020 and Oklahoma being the hardest state to get approved for social security disability – only 33.4% of disabled get approved.
Below you will find the different services a Social Security lawyer can help you –
Preparation of your claim
Filing the forms and gathering evidence to qualify for Social Security disability benefits is complicated.
It is even more complicated when you are injured or dealing with a new diagnosis.
Social Security disability lawyers can assist you in filing the multiple SSA forms needed as well as collect the evidence you will need to prove out your disability qualification.
If your application from benefits was not approved, you may be able to file an appeal with the assistance of a Social Security disability attorney.
There are very strict rules on how to file an appeal, so do not delay in filing an appeal.
You have only 60 days from the rejection to appeal and most lawyers will need more time to build your case.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security.
Do you recall social security withholding from your paychecks?
If so, you likely worked in a job that allows you to apply for benefits.
Next, you must prove that you have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disability.”
The Social Security Administration (SSA) applies a five-step process to determine if you qualify under their definition of “disability” –
Step 1 – Are you (or the applicant) still working?
The purpose of this is logical – If you are still able to work, you are not likely to receive disability benefits.
The purpose of Social Security disability benefits is to cover the sick or injured until they can work again on a regular basis.
If you have not worked for twelve months due to your condition, you likely qualify for benefits.
In addition, if you are working but have been limited by your condition, you may still qualify for benefits.
The SSA determines the average amount of money you made in the current year.
If it is less than $1,310/month in 2021 (indexed each year), you may still qualify.
Step 2 – Is your condition “severe”?
Your injury, sickness or condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering.
This requirement is really a two-part question.
First, have you had this condition for at least 12 months and, if so, is your disability something the SSA considers “severe” – listed in step 3.
The SSA allows for compassionate allowances which allows individuals with certain diagnosis to receive benefits as soon as they are diagnosed.
Examples of these diagnosis are Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and pancreatic cancer.
Step 3 – Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
Below are the listings of impairments that the Social Security Administration qualifies as “disabling”.
If you have one of these diagnoses, you have a very good shot at getting disability benefits if you can provide medical evidence of your diagnosis.
Each of these qualifying disabling conditions requires specific evidence to show impairment.
Your Social Security Disability Lawyer will assist you with gathering the proper evidence of disability:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
Step 4 – Can you do the work you did previously?
The SSA will consider what your disability is and consider whether you are able to do the work that you did previously.
Step 5 – Can you do any other type of work?
The SSA looks at your age, medical condition, education, past work experience and skills to determine whether you can look for employment elsewhere.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
In addition to qualifying for Social Security disability benefits based on a qualifying disorder, there are several special situations that you may also qualify for:
- Blind or Low vision benefits – Individuals that have low vision can be paid under two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance as well as the Supplemental Security Income Program. “Blind” is defined as no better than 20/200 in the better eye and this must have lasted for at least 12 months.
- Survivor benefits – benefits can be paid to the worker’s children and the surviving spouse who is caring for the children. Usually, the funeral home will report the death of a loved one to the Social Security Administration. At that point, you may want to consult a lawyer to determine if you can get a lump-sum payment, continued payments or if you received any payments that may need to be returned.
- Benefits for a Disabled Child – If a parent paid into the Social Security Administration, there are certain circumstances that a disabled child can be paid after reaching adulthood (18). Check with a lawyer to determine if these exceptions apply to you or your child.
- Benefits for Wounded Warriors & Veterans – Veterans may not realize that they can sometimes qualify for both VA and Social Security benefits. A social security disability lawyer can assist you in determining if you qualify for both.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) versus Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSI provides minimum basic financial assistance to older adults and persons with disabilities (regardless of age) with very limited income and resources.
Federal SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration are often supplemented by state programs.
SSDI supports individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history, either through their own employment or a family member (spouse/parent).
The major difference is that SSI determination is based on age/disability and limited income and resources, whereas SSDI determination is based on disability and work credits.