Questions to Ask a Social Security Disability Lawyer
If an injury is causing you lasting physical or psychological damage that prevents you from returning to work at full capacity, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. You may even ask yourself, “Who is eligible?” Any employee with enough work experience at a job that offers disability insurance is eligible to receive SSDI benefits. The intensive part is the claims process. Applying for SSDI is often a time-consuming task with a low approval rate. That’s why it’s important to have a Las Vegas Social Security Disability attorney at the ready to help you prepare documentation, file your claim, and even appeal a denial.
Before you choose your legal counsel, do you know which questions to ask a Social Security disability lawyer? Below are four questions you should ask during your initial consultation.
What Information Do I Need to File an SSDI Claim?
Social Security disability benefits are not given out freely. The United States federal government thoroughly verifies the legitimacy of an applicant’s claim before it is approved, and many claims are rejected. When you meet with your Social Security disability lawyer, be sure you fully understand what qualifies a person for SSDI benefits. Your attorney can assist you in procuring the correct documentation and evidence surrounding your injuries, which includes the following:
- Birth certificate or other acceptable proof of your date of birth
- Proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status
- Military discharge documentation (if you served before 1968)
- W2 tax forms or self-employment tax information
- Medical documentation related to your injury, such as test results and reports from your doctor
- Proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits
Your attorney will help you understand why you need the documentation above, and will ensure you are not missing any pertinent information in your SSDI claim.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Social Security Disability Law?
Because applying for Social Security Disability Insurance is known to be a lengthy and difficult process, you want to know that you have the right attorney on your side. The last thing you need in this complex process is an inexperienced attorney. Your attorney should have plenty of experience preparing SSDI claims and appealing denials in a court of law.
If the law firm you choose to represent your case has a history of SSDI claim victories, you can be confident that your lawyer knows their field of expertise inside out — and that your claim is in the right hands. An experienced Las Vegas Social Security disability attorney will be well-versed in claims and hearings processes. They will also have strong connections with the people involved in SSDI cases and will know how to best go about fighting for the benefits you deserve.
What Is the Process Like and What Should I Expect?
When you choose an experienced SSDI attorney, you should expect an initial consultation during which your attorney asks questions to understand your case. From there, the attorney will assist you in filling out the SSDI claim and submitting it for approval. If the initial claim is denied, you can request a hearing, during which your attorney will argue your case and why your injuries warrant SSDI benefits. If your case is again denied after the hearing, your attorney will help you move through the appeals process.
An initial claim can take between three and nine months to be processed — and if the claim is denied, it may be another eight or more months before your request for a hearing is processed. If during the hearing your SSDI application is again denied, you can request your claim be considered by an appeals council. As many as 60% of SSDI cases are denied in the first stages, and 80% are denied once they enter the appeals process.
Overall, you should expect to be treated with care and respect throughout the entire SSDI claims process. Any decent attorney will ensure you are always kept in the loop — that your calls are returned and your injuries taken seriously. If you have any questions along the way about any step of the process, your attorney should happily answer your questions in a way that makes sense to you.
Will There Be an Appeal if the Claim Is Denied?
Your claim may be denied for any number of reasons, including an error in submitted documentation. A good SSDI attorney will not take “no” for an answer and will keep fighting for your right to receive Social Security disability benefits. If your claim is denied for any reason, your attorney should evaluate the case to find out what went wrong, and what they can do to ensure your appeal is approved.
However, some attorneys may advise you to seek new representation to appeal your claim. Be sure that the attorney you choose is equipped to handle initial SSDI claims as well as subsequent hearings and appeals.
Hire an Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Benefits
The SSDI claims process can be stressful, especially when you factor in the debilitating physical or psychological symptoms you are experiencing. You need an SSDI attorney who will fight for you at every step of the claims process. The lawyers at Shook & Stone are here for you. With over 85 years of combined legal experience, Shook & Stone’s legal team has the knowledge and expertise to give you the best chance of winning your SSDI case. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.