Statistics across the U.S. reveal that people who hire lawyers or attorneys for their disability case improve their chances of winning by 60 % as compared to those who do not.
Additionally, approximately 54% of people who have previously engaged a lawyer for their disability case have been satisfied with the outcomes.
Thus, is it worth engaging a lawyer for a disability claim or case? Does hiring a lawyer improve one’s chances of winning a disability claim?
In this article, I explore the above questions.
By the end of this article, I hope to have convinced you of why having a lawyer improves your chances of winning a disability case.
Can a Lawyer Improve My Chances of Winning My Disability Case?
If a physical or mental impairment prevents you from working, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or a Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
However, obtaining approval for these benefits is no simple task.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), only about 35% of initial applications are successful each year.
Numerous applicants face denials due to application errors, inadequate medical evidence, or a lack of comprehension of eligibility criteria.
This is precisely why enlisting the services of a disability lawyer can significantly improve your chances of winning your disability case.
Who is a disability lawyer?
A disability lawyer is a legal expert who has specialized in the assistance of individuals with SSDI and SSI claims and appeals.
The initial denials will usually happen due to financial or work-history requirements. This denial is a technical denial.
A technical denial in both SSI and SSDI applications will be given to an applicant who earns above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit which as of 2023 is $1,470 per month ($2,460 if you’re blind),
For SSDI claims, technical denials will also be given to applicants who have not worked long or recently enough.
Divergently, for SSI claims technical denials are also given to applicants on the basis that they have exceeded the age of 65 or the strict income and asset limit,
Hence, it is important to discuss with a lawyer the eligibility criteria, so as to avoid a technical denial.
In addition, denials will usually occur due to disputes with regard to the severity of a disability.
How do lawyers improve the chances of Winning My Disability Case?
Lawyers possess the knowledge to navigate the intricate rules and procedures of the SSDI and SSI system and effectively present your case.
How Can a Disability Lawyer Assist Me?
At every stage of your disability case, from initiating your initial application to contesting a rejection, a disability lawyer can provide valuable assistance. Here are some ways they can help you:
By scrutinizing your medical records and employment history, a disability lawyer can determine whether you meet the SSA’s disability criteria. They can also advise you on whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Preparing and Submitting Applications
A disability lawyer can aid in completing the requisite forms and compiling supporting documentation for your application. They ensure your application is comprehensive and accurate, minimizing the risk of delays or denials.
Interacting with the SSA
Your disability lawyer can manage all correspondence and phone interactions with the SSA on your behalf. They can also oversee the progress of your claim and respond to any inquiries or requests from the SSA.
Representation at Hearings
Should your initial application be denied, you possess the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). A disability lawyer can equip you for the hearing, submit additional evidence, question witnesses, and present oral arguments on your behalf.
If your claim is dismissed at the hearing stage, you can further appeal to the Appeals Council and federal court. A disability lawyer can guide you through the necessary paperwork, introduce new arguments, and challenge any errors or inconsistencies in the ALJ’s decision.
Engaging a lawyer can help one improve the chances of success in their disability case.
Lawyers possess the necessary expertise to steer you through the SSDI and SSI processes.
In addition, lawyers will also advocate for your rights, and help you sidestep common pitfalls such as procedural issues.
Whether you’re contemplating applying for disability benefits or contesting a denial, it’s prudent to promptly contact a disability lawyer nearby.
It is important to remember that most disability lawyers will take payment only if you win your case.
Hence, hiring a disability lawyer is a risk-free endeavor with substantial potential gains.