The fact that you want to speak to a disability representative is a huge step in the right direction. This is because speaking to a disability representative can significantly influence your claim. Here's everything you need to know about disability representatives, including how they may be of help throughout the filing process.
Who Is a Disability Representative?
A disability representative is anyone legally permitted to represent you in a disability claim. The representative can be a family member, lawyer, paralegal, or any other legal professional specializing in Social Security Disability cases.
Most people seek disability lawyers to represent them in their social security disability claims. There are many benefits of hiring an attorney to handle such claims compared to other professionals in this field. Here's why it's always advisable to speak to a disability attorney.
Knowledge of Disability Laws
Disability laws are complex and difficult to keep up with. This is not one of those issues you'll trust your favorite uncle to take care of. Instead, it requires extensive knowledge of disability laws and their application in your particular situation. Since disability attorneys practice disability law, you can always count on them whenever you need to speak to someone with experience in this area of law. They know what works and what doesn't. They also know what counts as evidence of disability and what doesn't.
And that's not all. Disability attorneys can help plan the best strategy to pursue your claim. This is because they've handled such cases before and know how the Social Security Administration responds to different applications. Remember that the SSA approves less than 40 percent of all initial disability claims. But the truth is that just because your claim has been rejected does necessarily mean that you don't qualify for disability. In fact, some of these applications may be rejected due to computing errors, lack of adequate supporting documentation, and so on.
So if the SSA has rejected your claim, a disability attorney can review it in detail to identify the reasons for rejection before submitting another application on your behalf. But if you haven't applied for SSD benefits just yet, an attorney can handle the complex paperwork involved, making the application process much faster and less frustrating.
No Payments Unless You Win
When you have a disability or an injury that prevents you from working, chances are you may not be able to pay most of your bills without assistance. That's the whole point of applying for social security benefits. Most people don't realize that when they work and pay taxes, a certain percentage of their earnings goes to social security. So when you apply for social security benefits, you're not begging for the government to help you. Instead, this is the money you or your loved one has worked so hard for.
And given that you may be facing financial hardship due to your inability to work, the last thing you expect is a social security lawyer charging you hourly or upfront fees for their services. In that case, you may not be able to afford such services in the first place. For this reason, most social security disability attorneys charge their clients on a contingency basis. This means that you only pay them when they win the case. In addition, the attorney fee doesn't usually exceed 25% of the approved social security payments.
To put things into perspective, when you speak with a social security attorney from a reputable law firm like Morgan & Morgan, you'll have nothing to lose but so much to gain. Firstly, we're the largest injury law firm in the United States. Secondly, we have access to powerful legal resources to fight for our client's rights. So when you contact us for a free case evaluation, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. Once we take you up as our client, you'll rest easy knowing that the best injury law firm in the country is fighting for your rights and best interests.
Legal Representation in Court
We mentioned earlier that a disability representative could be anyone appointed by you. You only need to notify the SSA about the appointment. However, although you can appoint any eligible individual, including your favorite uncle, such decisions may prove costly in the long run.
Since the approval rate for initial applications for social security disability benefits is usually lower than the rejection rate, it is important that you work with the right individuals right from the beginning.
Here's what could happen if you appoint just anyone to represent you in your petition for social security disability benefits.
Suppose you hire just any family member to handle all your social security disability application processes. In that case, there's always a possibility that they're not familiar with the process. And if they are, it's unlikely that they're prepared for when things get complicated.
For example, if the initial application is rejected, which is very likely, the representative will have to file an appeal. But this does not mean repeating the whole process while expecting different results. Instead, it requires careful planning, knowledge of existing laws, powerful legal resources to help obtain the required proof of disability, and so much more. Don't forget that you must meet certain deadlines, and even worse, the waiting times are usually too long - sometimes, it can take up to a year to be approved.
Now here's the most challenging part.
Assuming that your appointed representative made serious mistakes along the way, you'll need to hire an experienced social security attorney to try to correct these mistakes. This means that the attorney will have to put in more work than they would have if you had contacted them initially to take care of the process. In addition, most attorneys, including other professional disability representatives, will charge extra if the petition is complicated.
So rather than appointing an inexperienced individual to take care of this process on your behalf, it is always advisable to see an attorney's help right from the beginning. This will save you additional costs in the future and help avoid unnecessary delays caused by rejected petitions.
There's one more thing you need to know. A disability attorney can represent you in court if the need arises. When that happens, they'll most likely charge a lower fee if you hire them to work on the case from the onset. But that can't be guaranteed if you hire them to appeal a claim that was rejected due to someone else's mistakes. While they may still be able to help, they'll most likely charge higher rates to file an appeal on your behalf and also prepare you for the hearing.
Legal Brief Writing and Analysis
When the SSA rejects an SSD claim, your legal representative can file an appeal. But that's not the most challenging part; the individual should be able to write a legal brief. This happens mostly when the case goes to a federal court. A legal brief is a legal document detailing why one party, in this case, the plaintiff, should win the case. The brief is then presented to the court.
However, most people don't realize that so many factors come into play when writing a legal brief. Even the most skillful writers might not be able to write the perfect legal brief if they don't follow certain rules throughout the process. The brief should not only be well-written but also convincing. It takes the experience of an SSD attorney to create a great legal brief that will convince the court to rule in your favor.
That's what you get when you hire a Morgan & Morgan social security disability attorney to represent you.
Lack of sufficient or relevant evidence is one of the most common reasons the social security administration rejects over 60% of the initial application for disability benefits. And since disability benefits aren't something you apply for every month, it's understandable that you may not know what qualifies as evidence and what doesn't. In addition, the required evidence varies from one applicant to another.
For instance, if you need social security assistance because you can't work for an extended period due to a back injury, the required evidence will not be the same as that of an individual who can't work because of a mental condition. The main point here is that you can't memorize the requirements for social security disability benefits. This is because there's no one-fits-all approach to applying for benefits.
That's where the importance of working with an experienced disability attorney comes in. The attorney knows what counts as relevant, irrelevant, or insufficient evidence. Remember, when the SSA rejects your application, you'll require more time to collect more evidence to convince them that you need your disability benefits.
But when it comes to financial compensation, some things can't just wait for that long. By the time you get approved for benefits, you'll be behind certain bills, something you don't want to deal with. Hiring an experienced social security disability attorney, especially from Morgan & Morgan, means you can sleep easy knowing that you have a team of experienced attorneys and paralegals fighting for you.