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Archive for April, 2013

Cost of Using a Social Security Benefits Lawyer

ss disabilityWhen applying for disability benefits, most people seek the guidance of a social security benefits lawyer to increase the chances of their case being approved. However, these fees are expensive, and you should be prepared for the cost of using a social security benefits lawyer. Of course, the costs of using the lawyer are certainly worth it compared to the risk of not using one. While it’s possible to navigate the disability benefits application process on your own, it’s incredibly difficult and time consuming. A social security benefits lawyer saves you time and helps you get those benefits you deserve – the fees are definitely worth it in the end!

The Cost of Getting Disability Benefits

While the fees that a social security benefits lawyer charges might seem expensive, keep in mind that they’re helping you get long-term disability benefits. Since a lawyer can likely get you more benefits than you could have on your own, think of it as an investment in your case.

Costs to be prepared for include:

The Contingency Fee Agreement. This agreement that must be signed with you allows the SSA to pay your attorney in the case of the claim being approved. The contingency basis ensures that your attorney is only paid after you win the disability claim.
Backpay benefits. If you’re approved for disability benefits, you don’t only get benefits going forward – you also get past-due benefits. Or “backpay” that was owed before you’re application was approved. Your social security benefits lawyer is entitled to up to 25 percent of your backpay benefits.
Miscellaneous costs. To give you the full range of representation services he can offer, your attorney is going to need school, work, medical, and all type of records from you. Acquiring these records often costs a few fees that you must pay out of pocket. Just remember that paying a small fee for that old college transcript is worth it if it means long-term disability benefits that you need!

Top 3 Disability Benefits Applications Mistakes

Filing for disability insurance is one of the toughest application processes in existence. Not only do you have to fill out tedious paperwork, but you also have to realize that the chances of the application being approved are slim. Most requests for disability insurance are denied, even if the person severely needs the disability benefits! Why? Because their disability insurance application was riddled with mistakes.

Increase Your Chances of Getting Disability Insurance

Since being approved for disability benefits is so difficult, it’s important to know what pitfalls to avoid and how to strengthen your application. Doing these things will not only help you stand out from the sea of applicants, but increase your chances of getting the disability benefits that you deserve. While you can always reapply if the application is denied, sending in a strong application the first time can save you immeasurable time and money.

Common application mistakes include:

1. Assuming the evidence you provided was enough. Many individuals fill out the application and simply attach a written statement from their employer saying that they are too sick to work. While this might be true, it definitely isn’t enough evidence to receive disability benefits. Don’t rely on your employer’s opinion – you must also meet the definition of disability as determined under your insurance’s policy. Also be sure to document the insurance through visits with your doctor. Don’t only rely on the forms given, but ask your physician to complete a thorough report that explains how your condition prevents you from being able to work.
2. Ignoring your doctor. So you’ve gone to your doctor to get his report about your disability, right? Chances are he probably told you about certain activities that you should avoid because of your illness. If this is the case, then be sure to follow the doctors orders and avoid participating in activities that your physician told you to forget about. Doing so can ruin the chances of receiving disability benefits, as it could seem that you’re trying to cheat the system.
3. Using the wrong type of lawyer. After you file for disability benefits with your insurance, chances are you’ll apply for Social Security benefits as well. Be sure to hire a social security lawyer instead of working with your insurance company’s lawyers.

How to Get Approved for Disability Insurance

Many people who need the benefits of disability insurance get denied after their first application. This creates a serious situation, as they are unable to work yet have no income to sustain the cost of living. With an estimated 64% of applicants being rejected at the initial stage of their disability insurance application, it’s no wonder that many are seeking the assistance of advocates or learning how they can properly file on their own.

Making Your Case for Disability

Remember, the biggest key to being approved for disability insurance is being able to prove the case that you cannot work due to a disability. Stringent checks are in place to ensure that people don’t try to take advantage of the system. To make your disability case effective, highlight facts that showcase the inability or hardship of working. These include:

· Age. The Social Security Administration has created a grid that measures residual functional capacity. In other words, they have the ability to predict the productivity of a person based on certain conditions such as age. Since the body is frailer at an older age, emphasizing older age can help in a disability case. Those who are 55 years old or older benefit the most from the residual functional capacity grid and have the greatest chance of being approved for disability insurance based on age.
· Education. The less education one has, the less opportunities they have to work. Thus, someone with a high school or less than high school level education has a greater chance of being approved for disability insurance than someone with a college degree. Of course, education isn’t a deciding factor, as disability is the key, but it is certainly a dynamic influence.
· Physician reports. Be sure to go to your doctor regularly for check ups. The more documentation you can have on your disability, the stronger the application will be. For any extra guidance throughout the process, there are attorneys and other advocates dedicated to helping people get the disability insurance benefits that they deserve.

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