To collect under either the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program you’re faced with an impersonal and uncaring bureaucracy that seems intent on denying you the benefits you have rightfully earned.
Nearly one out of every six working-age Americans has a disability. For these 29.5 million people working and earning a decent living is harder than it is for people without disabilities and many are unable to work at all. Congress recognized this problem and, beginning in the 1950s, passed several laws to create Social Security disability benefits programs. The idea was to provide a safety net for the disabled – mostly funded by American workers themselves through payroll deductions. But it is a long and, often times, hard-to-understand process to get approved. That’s why you need someone in your corner who understands the system and will fight for your rights.
Here’s how an attorney who focuses exclusively on disability law can help you:
Your attorney will protect your rights, keep your case on track and make sure no deadlines are missed.
Many Social Security disability claims drag on or are denied due to simple mistakes like not returning required paperwork on time or not filling out the paperwork correctly. All too often, in our office we see individuals who were denied benefits before they consulted with us because they left out critical information that would have been helpful to winning their cases. At Cuddigan Law we take a disciplined approach to insure all your information is submitted completely, accurately, and on time.
Your case will be presented to the Social Security Administration in a way that gives you the very best chance to succeed.
The system is complex and confusing. A good attorney knows how to navigate through the system, how to gather medical records and review them for evidence to support your case. Your attorney will know exactly what documents and evidence the Social Security Administration will be looking for.
Because the majority of Social Security disability claims are denied upon initial application and in the reconsideration phase, the disability hearing is the second level in the appeal process and, statistics show, it offers the best chances of approval. Two factors are critical to success at a disability hearing: a skillful presentation of your case and thorough preparation. Legal training and experience gives your attorney the knowledge to prepare and argue your case to maximize your chances for success.
To prove your case you either need to meet a disability listing in the Social Security Disability Impairment List (also known as the “Blue Book”) or you must prove you are disabled and unable to work using Social Security’s five-step evaluation process. Either path is difficult to navigate with complex rules that are loaded with exceptions. The guidance of a skilled representative advocating for you can be invaluable.
Because the Social Security Administration gathers your medical records for your disability application and reconsideration appeal, you may be surprised to learn (many people are) that at the appeal hearing level, you or your attorney are responsible for gathering your medical evidence for your hearing. Additionally (and understandably), it is difficult to present your claim without getting emotional and forgetting something important. It's true that you know how you feel because of your medical conditions and want to explain it all to the judge, but that's the exact reason to get an attorney. What you think is the most important may not be.
Experienced disability lawyers know how to work with doctors.
To be awarded Social Security disability benefits your case must be supported by objective medical evidence which justifies the awarding of benefits. Information from your doctor is vital to your case, so knowing what questions to ask your doctor and gathering the right medical records is critically important. It is not enough that your doctor says you are disabled. Reading medical records can be difficult and time-consuming. A good lawyer can pick out the important details in your medical file and highlight them for the Administrative Law Judge.
On Your Side
Because a disability lawyer works on a contingency basis (they only get paid if you win and their fees are limited by law) they are on your side and have the same stake in your case that you do. The Cuddigan Law attorneys are experts in Social Security disability law and can present your case in a way that Social Security can understand. Contact us for a free evaluation of your situation