When Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Arkansas?
When you suffer from a disabling injury or illness, you may be entitled to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, collecting these benefits isn’t easy and the Social Security Administration denies the vast majority of first-time applicants. If you received a SSDI claim denial, you may still be eligible to collect benefits.
Establishing your disability and your rights to benefits is difficult without the help of an experienced Arkansas SSDI lawyer. Your Social Security lawyer can help you during the application and appeals process and ensure that you receive all the benefits you deserve.
Did you know that 60 percent of all first-time SSDI applicants are denied disability benefits? The process of obtaining SSDI benefits is incredibly difficult and complex. To ensure a greater chance of success, the majority of disabled applicants must hire an experienced SSDI lawyer. Retaining a Social Security Disability lawyer can greatly improve your chances of winning approval and can help you avoid costly mistakes and errors during the application and appeals process.
Documentation & Application
Your Social Security Disability lawyer can help you through both the documentation and application process with ease. This is a time-consuming and complicated part of the claims process.
Before receiving approval for SSDI benefits, your attorney must prove that you meet the specific medical and financial requirements outlined by the SSA. This means showing that you accrued enough work credits throughout your employment history. It also means that your disability must meet the SSA’s definition of a disability. To meet this requirement, your disability must render you unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months or longer.
To make it easier to meet the medical requirements, the SSA established an SSDI Blue Book. This book outlines various medical impairments used to determine if a condition rises to the level of disability. Your attorney will need to examine your disability thoroughly and compare it to the SSDI Blue Book. Their job will be to gather the necessary documents and evidence to support your claim and establish that your disability meets the requirements and medical conditions outlined in the Blue Book.
Your SSDI attorney can help you determine whether your particular disability fits into SSDI eligibility. Your attorney will have significant experience and knowledge related to which disabilities will qualify for SSDI, and which are more likely to be turned down. Although your SSDI attorney cannot guarantee your approval, he or she can help you determine your chances of approval.
To begin preparing your claim, your attorney will need to gather all supporting documents to substantiate your claim.
- Personal information,
- IRS forms
- Bank account forms and documents
- Medical records and referrals
- Medication history
- Employment history
This documentation is necessary to help the SSA determine eligibility. Without it, the SSA will not have enough information to make a fully informed decision regarding your benefits, and they will deny your claim.
Timeline and Milestones
Throughout the process, your Social Security Disability attorney will keep track of your claim status. They can speak to the SSA representatives on your behalf and help keep your application moving along. When questions arise, your attorney will be there to provide answers and speak to their representatives to give your application the best chance of receiving approval.
Overall, the process for receiving a disability decision can take anywhere from 90 to 120 days. The wait time for receiving a disability decision can lengthen considerably if the SSA does not have the information it needs to make a decision. Having an attorney on your side is the best way to ensure that the process moves along efficiently and quickly.
Representation in Appeals
Your SSDI denial could be a technical denial or a medical denial. Common reasons for a technical denial are details like not paying enough into the system, not working at proper Substantial Gainful Activity levels, or perhaps it has been too long since you paid into the program. A medical denial could be due to an impairment that is not sufficient to meet the requirements, your failure to follow prescribed medical treatments, or insufficient medical evidence of your disability.
If your claim is denied, you have 60 days from the date of your denial letter to file for an appeal for reconsideration. Having an attorney on your side is invaluable during the appeals process. Your attorney must gather new evidence to show the SSA that you do qualify for disability benefits. Without new medical or financial evidence, they will not approve your claim.
If your request for reconsideration is denied, you have 60 days to request an appeal hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This can take up to 2 years. Your chances of approval increase dramatically at the hearing level. For this reason, it is important to have an attorney on your side to build your case, gather evidence, and fight to have your claim approved.
In the end, your ability to receive SSDI is highly dependent on the attorney you choose to help you through the process. Allowing a knowledgeable SSDI attorney help you right from the start—with your initial application—virtually guarantees you a higher rate of approval. This is simply because your attorney is very familiar with what those who initially look at your application want to see.
If you didn’t hire an SSDI attorney at the beginning of the application process, do not worry. Your chances of approval at appeal are much greater with an experienced attorney by your side, and it simply makes no sense to face the process on your own—no matter where you are in the overall process.
Many potential SSDI applicants are hesitant to hire an attorney because they worry about the costs. The good news is that you do not have to spend any upfront money when hiring an attorney. Social Security disability attorneys receive payment from the disability benefits they are able to obtain for you. This percentage is collected in back payments after they get your claim approved.
Not hiring an attorney, however, can be costly. Without an attorney you may not receive any of the benefits and funds you are entitled to. Studies have shown that claimants without lawyers are up to 3x less likely to have their disability claim denied. With an attorney on your side, your claim is more likely to become approved without having to advance all the way to the hearing level.
When looking for the right SSDI attorney to help you with your claim, it is important to meet with them. Many Social Security Disability attorneys offer free consultations and meetings to help you when making your choice.
Here are some questions you should ask before choosing the right attorney to represent you.
- How much experience do you have in handling these cases?
- What do we need to prove to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits?
- How long does the claims process usually take?
- How do you handle the appeals process?
- How do you charge for your services?
- Are you familiar with my medical condition?
- What can I do to help my claim?
Contact Our Arkansas SSDI Attorneys
If you believe that you may qualify for social security disability in Arkansas, it is important to speak with an experienced SSDI lawyer immediately. We can help you file the disability claims you need, handle the appeals process, and prevent mistakes from occurring that could jeopardize your claim. With six offices in Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Fayetteville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant and Memphis —our Arkansas and Tennessee SSDI lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you need us.
Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers today. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story.