A debilitating injury or illness can leave you with few options for earning an income, which why there is the social security safety net. You have paid into this fund your entire working life, so you do deserve help from it if necessary. Unfortunately, filing for and being granted disability requires navigating bureaucratic red tape. Knowing when to get help with the process can help increase your chances for success.
#1: Before You Begin
The best time to contact an attorney is before you file the initial disability paperwork. Even if your situation seems fairly simple and straight forward, keep in mind that you can be denied due to missing paperwork or an error when you file. Having an experienced disability attorney available to look over your paperwork and offer advice can help avoid these pitfalls.
Many attorneys offer a free consultation, which will allow you to determine if their services will be useful for you. If your claim is accepted on the first attempt, your overall fee for an attorney's services will be minimal.
One of the key benefits of having legal counsel during the preparation and filing stage is the invaluable advice they can offer. They will make sure that your application includes all the necessary documentation of your disability, and they will let you know if you are performing any job duties or participating in any behaviors that could affect your disability approval.
#2: If Your Claim Is Denied
If you've already filed on your own and been denied disability, your first call should be to a lawyer. Do this before attempting to file an appeal on your own. A disability attorney can look over both your initial paperwork and the denial forms to determine the most likely causes for the denial. They can then help you craft an appeal that is more likely to garner approval.
As an added benefit, disability attorneys know their way through the system, so they can help speed up the process so you can get approved for disability more quickly if there are extenuating circumstances. This means they may be able to request and receive an approval without a hearing from a judge if necessary, such as if you are in danger of losing your home or suffering from a terminal illness.
Most disability attorneys accept a percentage of your disability back pay for payment for their services, so you will not be paying the attorney out of pocket for their help. Don't hesitate to call a local attorney like those at the Law Offices of Terry Katz & Associates if you have any questions.