Disability Attorneys are experienced professionals with knowledge of the various types of medical evidences required for each disability condition in order to win SSDI benefits. A disability lawyer can help develop medical evidences, doctor's statements and a proper theory of your disability.
What does having a disability attorney mean?
Having the right disability lawyer represent your case can mean the difference between winning or losing your disability benefits. The SSA requires you to be able to meet all the medical and non-medical requirements in order to be eligible for an SSDI application. However, since most people who are disabled or have severe conditions already have a lot on their plates, with minimum or no income, they make the mistake of presenting their case lightly or in the wrong way, ending up with rejected SSDI applications.
In addition to wrongly representing their case, many people with once or more than once rejected SSDI applications make the mistake or filing again instead of going for an appeal OR repeating the same mistakes during an appeal. You can read more about Mistakes after being rejected SSDI benefits here.
Moreover, it is a very deep and tiresome process to navigate all the levels of filing an SSDI application. For instance, you might be critically ill and meet all the medical requirements for an SSDI application but still denied for SSDI benefits due to the fact that you do not have enough work credits or have not paid the FICA taxes, etc. Read more about Non-medical requirements for Social Security Disability in 2020.
How will a Disability Attorney help you develop Medical Evidence?
Most people are unaware that being represented by a disability attorney for your SSDI claims works better not only in the sense of representation but also in collecting all the medical evidence for you on your behalf (that you may otherwise miss or think of as not important).
A disability attorney or lawyer is officially able to request all of the medical records they deem necessary as needed to win your SSDI claim and submit them to your Disability Examiner (DE) at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) before your hearing at the Social Security Administration's (SSA) local office. In case of an appeals process, your disability attorney will submit the evidence to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
However, in order to be able to carry out all the necessary paperwork on your behalf, you will need submit a signed medical privacy document to the SSA nominating your attorney to have access to your medical records. Once done, your disability attorney will pay for all your medical records until the end of your case, at the end of which when you have a final verdict about your case, the disability attorney will bill you on the costs involved in the whole process.
Also, since the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the types of medical tests, pathology reports and doctor's statements required to win a disability claim, your disability attorney will carefully evaluate your medical records to determine whether you require additional testing or need to get your doctor's statements about the disabling effects of your condition, in order to win the SSDI claim. Yet, since the SSA requires additional testing to be done by one of their own doctors, your disability attorney will also be responsible to schedule a consultative examination (CE) on your behalf with one of the SSA's doctors or ask permission to get you tested by your own doctors if need be.
In addition to the above, once the SSA has gotten the medical documentation, they almost always request additional statements by your doctor or employers to proof that your condition is severe enough to disable your daily functionality. In this case, your disability attorney will be responsible to pinpoint which doctor(s) to consult for supportive statements on your functional limitations (RFCs), which medical records or documentation would be relevant as sufficient evidence to be submitted to the administrative law judge (ALJ) who will be hearing your appeals case and most importantly, eliminate any bad evidence that might be damaging to your disability application.
How will a Disability Attorney help you prepare for a Hearing?
Prior to a hearing, most attorneys will speak to a client through phone. However, you can actually request an in-person meeting with your disability attorney if you want. If you have an appeals hearing upcoming, a disability attorney will make sure all the hearing deadlines are met and all the medical records needed for the appeals process are arranged.
Your attorney might review with you the practice questions you might be expected to know the answers to from the administrative law judge (ALJ). Examples of common law questions include:
- -Provide an indepth description of your symptoms;
- -Are you seeing a doctor for your disability (if yes, how often do you visit?);
- -Describe the type of treatment you are getting (and any positive or negative effects it has on your condition);
- -The first time you got your condition;
- -Are you doing any work now?;
- -Are you depressed or anxious?;
- -Any medications you take and their possible side effects;
- -Did any of your medications made you feel better?;
- -Do you have a history of alcohol abuse or drug abuse?;
- -Have you ever been incarcerated?;
- -Are you able to take care of your hygiene?
- -Are you able to do daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, bathing, driving?
- -Do you have health insurance?;
- -Are there things you used to enjoy and are not able to do anymore?;
- -Are you able to stoop or bend?
- -Are you able to reach out for things standing up quickly?
- -Are you able to pick things up?
- -Are you able to lift a gallon of water?
- -Are you able to walk a block?
- -Do you use prosthetics?
- -Are you able to climb a flight of stairs?
- -Are you able to read and write?
- -Are you able to get along with others?
- -How far did you go in school or how much did you study?
Remember, in order to be able to prepare you for the best possible way for the hearing, it is important that you answer your attorney's questions with honesty. If not, your attorney would not be able to represent you properly. Please keep in mind that your attorney is asking these questions to improvise on your representation when you actually go in front of an ALJ, not judge you.
Would a Disability Attorney arrange witnesses?
Although the Social Security Administration allows you to bring a witness to testify you for your condition, this may actually prove either good or lethal for your disability case. For this reason, it is very important that you have a disability attorney evaluate all potential witnesses and decide whether you should provide one in front of your ALJ or none at all.
On the other hand, in cases where good witnesses having the potential to back up your SSDI claim are far away, your disability attorney can arrange for them to write letters of witness in support of your disability claim.
How a Disability Attorney may help you win Your SSDI claim?
Disability Attorneys have listings in various platforms such as the Yellow pages, State's Bar Associations, word of mouth, etc. Also, many people do not know that anyone with a disability claims process knowledge can file for someone with disability and represent their case. However, this means leaving your claims to mere luck or chance because non-professionals do not know the knitty gritty of the disability claims associated with each type of disability condition. Hence, it is very important that you not only choose a professional but also make sure that your disability attorney has enough time on hands to walk you through the whole process until the end result.
A good disability attorney will determine the best way to win your case. First, your disability attorney will evaluate you for all the medical and non-medical grounds you plan to list in your symptoms in your SSDI application. Then, they will determine the witnesses and assess how to prepare your witnesses' statements in the best way. In case of a disability hearing, your disability attorney will carefully study the reasons of your denial of the SSDI claims by the SSA and then help you resolve them to minimize the chances of getting rejected by the ALJ at the disability hearing again.
Lastly, a disability attorney will develop the right 'theory' in accordance with the SSA's guidelines to proof that you deserve that SSDI claim right away. This includes four main points:
- -Prove that your impairment is listed in the Blue Book of SSA (if not prove that your RFC symptoms are disabling enough to prevent you from functioning normally);
- -Prove that your symptoms are disabling enough to prevent you from working;
- -Prove that you are unable to perform work that you were able to do previously (grid out of all work);
- -Prove that your exertion level is less than 'sedentary';
How to find the right Disability Attorney?
At Law Office of Irene Ruzin, we strive to help you win your SSDI claims based on all of the discussion above. You can seek counsel of our disability attorneys through phone, email or request an in-person meeting by calling 888-700-4357.