Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help me Fight A Disability Claim?

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If you plan on filing for Social Security disability, I think it is wise to hire a lawyer to assist you with your case.  Most people think that they can't afford a lawyer.  However, at the same time you can't afford not to have a lawyer, especially, if you are unable to work or find suitable employment to meet your physical restrictions.  Remember that if you find yourself out of work due to chronic pain you aren't alone. 

Disclosure:  This article is for informational purposes only and shouldn't be substituted for legal advice from a lawyer or legal professional.  I am not a lawyer or a legal professional and the opinions reflected in this post are based on my own experience. 

Did you know that according to American Chronic Pain Association that chronic pain tops the list at number 1 for all adult disability claims.  I had no clue that chronic pain was number 1 but after thinking about it for a few minutes, chronic pain covers a wide variety of illness and diseases ranging from back pain, migraines, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, unknown pain syndrome, depression, joint pain, nerve pain, cancer, and I am sure that I am missing more invisible illness or diseases that cause chronic pain.

Social security is a pain to deal with but it was created to help people like you who can no longer work due to a physical or mental illness.  It is important that you continue to seek care from your doctor so that he or she can continually document your case.  A well documented case will help social security determine if you are able to receive benefits or not.  Make sure that you are open and honest with your doctor and tell them everything.  When talking to your doctor treat them as if he or she is your best friend and hold nothing back.  

Most people who have previously applied for Social Security benefits will tell you that it is normal for social security to deny you and sometimes they will deny you multiple times before you are granted benefits, even if you have an extreme case.  I find this practice to be absurd but there were people before you who abused the system and Social Security needs to know that you are serious about your medical decision.  So don't get discouraged or give up once you receive your first denial letter, in fact, at this point you should seek legal counsel immediately.  You only have a short period of time to get your appeal back to Social Security before you have to refile.  Hiring a lawyer at this point is a good idea and they can even file the appeal for you.  

Make sure that you continue to see your doctor on a regular basis and maybe even seek a second opinion from another doctor.   The more documentation that you have the better.  

Most disability lawyers don't require any fees upfront and you don't pay for their services unless you win.  Then the fees attorney fees are deducted from the money you would have earned from Social Security disability from the moment you first filed.  Social security also sets the fee that a lawyer can take from your back payment for his or her services, this fee is usually no more than 25% of your earnings.  Most lawyers will even meet with you to discuss your case for free and they won't take on your case if they don't think that they can help you, after all they don't get paid for fighting for you unless you win.

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Did you hire a lawyer to assist you with your disability claim?