Social Security Disability Attorney
Servicing Cities Throughout Orange County California
Fact: The vast majority of Social Security and Disability claims are denied the first time around.
The social security and disability system is laden with bureaucracy and red tape that triggers automatic denials of claims. Even if you are actually entitled to compensation you may be denied based on a technicality or inadvertent "wrong" answer. We strongly advise that you seek the advice of an experienced social security and disability law professional should you encounter any denial of your compensation.
Should I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
If your situation matches the ones shown below, you are most likely entitled to benefits whether you have been previously denied or not:
- Are you lucratively employed? No
- Do you have a severe disability? Yes
- Will your disability last 12 months or
possibly result in death? Yes
- Does your impairment meet one of
SSA's listed disabilities? If yes, you qualify. If no…
- Are you able to be employed doing some type of work? No
How long does a typical disability appeal take?
- Initial Determination 120 days and 35% succeed
- Reconsideration Determination 90 days and 15% succeed
- Hearing 530 days and 55% succed
- Appeals Council 220 days
- Federal Court 540 days
These are approximate national average completion times
When should I apply for social security disability benefits?
Unless you have an obvious long-term disability, the best time to apply for your Social Security disability benefits is between 6-9 months after you cease employment.
To apply, you can call the SSA at 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability
What does a social security disability lawyer in Orange County do?
The large-scale answer is: examine what needs to be done to attain your benefits, and obtain the proper evidence. Some of the specific duties are:
- Obtain reports from your current physician that is consistent with Social Security rules
- Refer claimants to specialists for supplementary reports that answer inquiries raised by Social Security principles
- Obtain a occupational expert's assessment of the claimant's ability to work
- Ask that a previous application for benefits be re-opened
- Seek a time limit waiver
- Request summons to insure the presence of critical witnesses and/or documents
- Counsel the claimant on the greatest way to prepare for and testify at the hearing
- Object to incompetent evidence and methods at the hearing
- Cross-examine challenging witnesses
- Give a closing statement
- Submit a written summary of the evidence and argument
- If the claimant wins, makes sure the SSA correctly computes your benefits
- If the claimant loses, demand a review of the hearing decision by the Appeals Council
How much is a disability attorney fee?
The standard fee is 25% of back benefits, up to a maximum set by the Commissioner of Social Security, which is currently $6,000. Sometimes, when appeals preceding the ALJ hearing level are involved, the compensation can be more.
How long might I have to wait for a disability hearing?
It is possible to take up to two years from request until a hearing is held and a verdict issued, but that time varies from state to state.
What happens at a hearing?
They are private, and held in a small conference rooms, they generally last an hour or so. You will be asked about your training, daily activities, symptoms, education, limitations, and work experience.
What if I file my disability appeal late?
If you haven't filed your appeal within the allotted time on the denial letter, you have to start over with a brand new claim. That new claim will most likely result in the loss of back benefits.
What is the worst mistake I can make as an applicant?
Because most of the appeals are given at a hearing, failing to appeal a denial to the hearing level is the number one error … and this unfortunately is common.
Call the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Marks today for a free initial consultation: 949-748-6470