When a person is disabled because of an injury or illness, life can be extremely difficult. You will be unable to work, and may need on-going medical treatment, rehabilitation and home care. If the disability is severe, accomplishing even the simplest tasks could require the assistance of another individual. In many situations, without adequate financial resources, your quality of life will decline over time. Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide the financial relief you need to improve your situation and help you enjoy life despite physical impediments.
Improve your chances with the SSA
Michigan has some of the longest processing wait times in the nation. Having a lawyer on your side will ensure that you don’t lose time with application mistakes. Studies have shown that applicants with legal representation have much better approval rates than claimants who undertake the Social Security disability process themselves.
Before making the decision to get help, you will want to consider what a lawyer can do for your claim that you may not be able to do on your own.
What can a lawyer do for me?
A social security disability lawyer is familiar with the application process. This helps to ensure that paperwork is timely and properly filed. This is crucial, because the SSA will not hesitate to deny a claim for a technical error or a missed deadline.
Filling an initial Social Security Disability Application
Also, if your lawyer is willing to file all the paperwork for you, this can save you an enormous amount of stress. A lawyer’s knowledge and familiarity with the process and the laws means that he/she knows what it takes to win a case.
Your lawyer will review the evidence to determine if your case has weaknesses, and can work with you to see if those can be overcome or minimized. He/she can tell you what steps to take to strengthen your claim.
Just following all SSA instructions will not give you the strategy that lawyers can provide
Should your social security disability claim reach the hearing level, the lawyer’s role becomes even more important. Before the hearing, your lawyer can review your file at the social security office, and submit any evidence that they might be missing. This is important because any evidence lacking from your file will not be considered by the administrative law judge when making a decision in your hearing.
A lawyer can provide help during your Social Security hearing
During the hearing, your lawyer can present an opening and closing statement presenting the strongest points of your case to the judge. The judge may request that your lawyer question you about your disability, in which case your lawyer can let you know ahead of time what he/she will ask. Even if the judge is the one asking you questions, your lawyer can let you know prior to the hearing what sort of questions to expect.
Often there is a medical expert and/or a vocational expert at the hearing. Although they are considered to be independent of the SSA, their opinions regarding your abilities and limitations are oftentimes incomplete or inaccurate. This is where your lawyer will play a crucial role; he/she can dispute the experts’ assessments through cross-examination.
Can I afford a disability lawyer?
Our Michigan Social Security lawyers accept cases on a contingency basis – which means you only pay IF and WHEN you win your case. If you are not awarded Social Security Disability Benefits, then you pay NOTHING for legal services.
There is no need for you to pay any up-front costs. If you are awarded, your lawyer will be entitled to 25% of your retroactive benefits which the SSA will pay directly to your lawyer. The amount of the lawyer’s fee is set by the federal government.
Due to the nature of the social security disability application process, it is wise to consider legal representation early on. You should weigh the importance of a timely and favorable decision against the potential cost, and seek out an experienced lawyer if that is the route you decide to take.
A Michigan disability lawyer at Baldwin Legal Services PLLC has the legal experience and resources to successfully protect your rights and help you obtain equitable SSI/SSD benefits. We understand that this is a challenging time, which is why we are committed to making sure proper medical evidence is provided for your application and that any appeals are filed within a timely manner. For a free consultation and to find out more about how we can help, call 877-886-1441. SSD/SSI cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. That means, no out-of-pocket expenses for you. The Social Security Administration pays our fee directly if we win your case.