When to Hire a Social Security Attorney
Having a long-term illness or disability is certainly incredibly challenging. It can be a struggle to pay mounting medical bills; your wages may be unable to support your lifestyle; and you may find your hard-won financial stability slipping away.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits offer a lifeline for those struggling financially; however, these benefits can be hard to get! This is especially true if you apply without the help of legal counsel.
Why and when should you hire a Social Security attorney? We explain just a few of the reasons you might consider hiring an attorney, below.
Why Hire a Social Security Attorney
SSDI Is a Maze
The SSDI application process is often very complicated. It shouldn’t take an advanced law degree to get through the process, and yet it often does!
Filing for SSDI benefits requires a significant amount of information: you’ll need things like your birth certificate (or other proof of birth), proof of U.S. citizenship, W-2 or self-employment forms, medical records, pay stubs, and more. While collecting all of this information to support your claim, there is paperwork to file, evidence to submit, hearings to prepare for, and more.
When you are dealing with a long-term illness or disability, you likely don’t want to go through this maze! You may not have the time or energy to deal with it all, which is where a Social Security attorney can help. Having an attorney handle your claim can allow you to focus on what’s important: managing your health and well-being.
Finally, because the SSDI process is so complex, with so many moving parts, it’s easy to make mistakes when you go it alone. Unfortunately, even small mistakes like incomplete paperwork or evidence submitted after deadlines can result in a denial. That leads us to our next point…
You Don’t Want to Wait
Did you know that around 65 percent of first-time SSDI applicants are denied? It’s a shockingly high number. The good news is that the SSA has an appeals process; however, the wait time for the appeals process is incredibly long.
Thanks to a shortage of funds and staff, there is an enormous wait time to appeal an SSDI decision. As of a previous blog post we wrote last year, the wait time had stretched to 526 days. That’s more than a year of time wasted, waiting for benefits you need now!
That’s why it’s so important to be approved the first time you apply for SSDI benefits. Fortunately, you can improve your chances of approval with help from a Social Security attorney.
Attorneys experienced in the SSDI process have the know-how to get the right evidence, present a compelling case, and expose any errors made by the Social Security Administration. Many cases—from the relatively straightforward to the very complex—can benefit from legal counsel.
With an attorney on your side, representing you at your hearing, you may be up to three times more likely to be approved for benefits!
When to Hire a Social Security Attorney
If you’re considering an attorney, you might be wondering when to hire one. A good rule of thumb to remember here is, “the sooner, the better.”
As we mentioned above, you want to avoid the lengthy wait time of the appeals process. To do this, it’s a good idea to consider hiring an attorney when you first consider applying for SSDI. Try not to wait until after you’ve already been denied!
That said, if your case has been denied, an attorney can be of great help to you. A qualified attorney can review your initial claim, see where it went wrong, and put together an appeal that improves your chances of success. Many people do go on to win their SSDI appeal and receive the benefits they need! Don’t lose hope if you are initially denied.
Finally, if you’re not sure that your case even qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits, you can still talk to an attorney. An experienced Social Security attorney can look at the facts of your case and help you explore your options. That might be filing for SSDI benefits, or it might be something else, like SSI. (You can learn the difference in a previous blog post on SSDI vs. SSI.)
Many Social Security attorneys offer free or low-cost initial consultations—Casper & Casper included! During this consultation, you’ll get the information you need to make the best decisions for your unique situation.
Contact Casper & Casper Today
Ready to talk about applying for SSDI benefits? We’re here for you!
Call Casper & Casper today. One of our firm’s dedicated Social Security attorneys would be happy to help. We have locations in Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, and Middletown for your convenience.