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If you are experiencing a disability that prevents you from working, and you are navigating the Social Security Disability system on your own, then you understand it’s a massive undertaking. Affleck & Gordon’s Georgia Social Security Disability Lawyers can be your advocate throughout the process as you seek the benefits you are owed. Our lawyers have advocated on behalf of clients—and won—for decades. They are well versed in the complex rules and requirements associated with applying for Social Security Disability benefits and know how to achieve results that will help ensure your financial security. More importantly, the Social Security Disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon treat their clients with respect and dignity throughout the process of securing disability benefits.
Here are 5 Ways Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Help Your Case:
1. A Lawyer Can Help File Your Application
As you are probably already aware, applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complex and often lengthy process. It requires applicants to fill out mountains of paperwork, track down medical records, and provide personal information. Applicants must also ensure that their disability meets the criteria listed in the Social Security Blue Book’s list of impairments. For individuals without expertise in these matters, it’s difficult to understand precisely what the Social Security Administration is looking for, and erroneous applications are unlikely to qualify you for benefits. Over 60% of initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied.
A Georgia Social Security Disability lawyer will evaluate the strength of your claim and offer guidance as you seek the needed information to make your application strong. Our experienced lawyers know precisely what documentation is required, and they can assist you in gathering the supporting evidence and documents most likely to bolster your claim.
2. A Lawyer Can Help File Your Appeal
The Social Security Disability appeals process is multilayered. The majority of applicants’ initial applications are denied, and yet many individuals are approved for benefits on appeal. It is therefore to your great advantage to seek expert assistance from a lawyer who knows this appeals process inside and out. Many people who file Social Security Disability claims are denied before seeking legal assistance. That’s OK! There are a variety of reasons that might explain the denial, and the lawyers at Affleck & Gordon can discover these reasons on your behalf.
The first step of the appeals process is the reconsideration phase. This places your application for benefits in front of a different examiner. This typically results in a confirmation of the denial, unless you can demonstrate that your condition has worsened, or that your initial finding lacked some substantial evidence. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you track down additional evidence, thus increasing the likelihood that the Social Security Administration will take a closer look at your appeal.
The next step in the process of securing your benefits is a hearing. This is where having a lawyer works to your great benefit. You need a strong and experienced Disability lawyer at your hearing. Your attorney will make oral arguments and often a written argument to the judge assigned to your case. The lawyers at Affleck & Gordon, along with a team of dedicated case managers, ensure that your records are complete, and work on your behalf to secure the benefits you deserve.
3. A Lawyer Can Help Obtain the Most Impactful Medical Evidence
Obtaining and providing the correct medical evidence is crucial to winning your claim. But given the complex requirements, applicants cannot always know what the Social Security Administration is looking for. As a result, an applicant may submit too many documents, too few, or not exactly the right ones. Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers can help you weed out irrelevant documents and information. They will also help you organize and highlight the important information most likely to ensure approval of your claim.
Experienced Social Security Disability lawyers are experts at communicating with medical providers. Unfortunately, doctors are often dismissive of patients’ requests for assistance in filing their Disability claims. But when a lawyer who knows what questions to ask is advocating on your behalf, medical providers are more forthcoming with their assistance.
The appeals process is lengthy. But with a lawyer advocating on your behalf, you can secure your benefits much more quickly. Some clients obtain their benefits months or even years faster with a lawyer on their team than if they pursue Social Security Disability benefits on their own.
4. A Lawyer Knows How to Argue Your Case
One major advantage of having a Social Security Disability lawyer on your case is that these lawyers have experience presenting appeals to the specific Administrative Law Judges who will hear your case. As a result, your lawyer has insight into how each judge wants hearings to be conducted, and what biases judges may possess. Your lawyer can therefore prepare for your hearing in a way perfectly suited to the judge who will be deliberating over your appeal.
The Social Security Administration brings in Vocational Experts at appeals hearings. These Vocational Experts testify about what work they believe applicants to be capable of doing in light of their medical conditions or disabilities. The judge will question the Vocational Expert, and if the Expert testifies that the applicant is capable of working, then the claim is likely to be denied. But experienced Social Security Disability lawyers understand how to counter a Vocational Expert’s testimony. Their depth of knowledge about the complex ways that different jobs and skills are categorized by the Social Security Administration makes them able to refute Vocational Expert testimony. In this way, the lawyer can ensure that the testimony does minimal damage to your case.
In addition, a lawyer with experience presenting Social Security Disability cases knows how to elicit information from the applicant that increases the likelihood of their claim becoming approved. They can question the applicant in front of the judge to clarify information about missing documentation, changes in the applicant’s condition, reasons for inconsistencies in the medical record, and information about past treatments. Your attorney knows what question to ask that will help you to better explain how you are affected by your medical condition or disability.
5. A Lawyer Helps Keep Money in Your Pocket
Your initial case evaluation with a lawyer at Affleck & Gordon is free. You can consult with an expert lawyer about your claim and receive guidance about the next steps.
Although lawyers do not work for free, there are many advantages to hiring one to advocate on your behalf, the most important of which is that you are more likely to be approved for benefits if a lawyer is on your team. If you win your case, your attorney is paid through backpay. If—and only if—you win your claim, your lawyer is paid from your first Social Security Disability check. This is the beginning of your past-due benefits, based on how many months have passed from the onset of your disability to winning your claim. This back pay is typically awarded in a lump sum. From this amount, your lawyer typically receives up to 25%, but no more than $6,000.
Schedule a free consultation with the Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers at Affleck & Gordon today to discuss how an expert attorney can help you win your Social Security benefits.