If you have a medical condition or an injury that prevents you from working, and it looks like the situation will be long term or permanent, then you'll probably want to file for disability. Filing soon could be the best option since it could take many months before you start receiving benefits. You may even want to use a disability lawyer to help you through the process, especially if your medical condition has you overwhelmed. Here are some things to know about working with a disability lawyer.
A Consultation Is Usually Free
You don't usually pay anything to a disability attorney upfront. Instead, their fee is paid by Social Security out of your back pay. When you're approved for disability payments, you'll receive back pay that includes payments you would have received if your claim was approved when you first filed, and some of this money is used to pay the attorney. The attorney's fee is regulated by law, so you'll be able to estimate what help from the attorney will cost, and if your disability claim is denied, you won't have to pay the attorney since they work on contingency. However, this also means the attorney may not take your case if there is doubt you will win.
The initial consultation is a good way to get your questions about applying for disability answered and to understand if you have a good case. While an attorney can't guarantee you'll be awarded disability, they can look at the supporting medical records and other factors Social Security uses to determine your eligibility to see if you have a strong or weak case.
Disability Claims Are Often Denied
It's frustrating when you can't work and you have to go through the long process of getting your disability payments, especially when your first claim is denied. By working with an attorney, you can be sure you'll have all the medical documentation you need when you file so your claim has a better chance of being approved. If you file by yourself and aren't thorough about obtaining medical records and written statements from doctors and other medical professionals, then Social Security may deny your claim, and that further prolongs the time it takes to get your disability payments.
You can appeal and request reconsideration, and if that's denied, you may need a hearing before a judge or even go to court as a last resort. Having a disability lawyer to advise you and help you through this long, frustrating, and confusing process can give you peace of mind and helps you know you're doing everything you can to get a good outcome.