The Advantages of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

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The Social Security Administration pays benefits to those who are unable to work so that these individuals have the means to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the agency makes it extremely difficult for people to prove that they qualify for these benefits. Those who are most in need of help often find their claims denied even though they meet the eligibility requirements.

It is not enough to suffer from a disability that prevents you from working. You must prove that you are unable to work in a way that satisfies agency requirements. Often, you need to pursue your claim through multiple stages before you can convince a judge that you should be receiving disability benefits.

It is very helpful to work with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney during this lengthy process. At Burgess & Christensen, we have focused our practice on disability issues for decades. We understand how to succeed with a claim without unnecessary delays, and we advocate relentlessly to ensure that our clients receive the benefits they deserve.

Disability Claims are Complex

Whether you are trying to gain benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the process is extremely complex. You first need to gather information and complete a lengthy application. The vast majority of the time, the Social Security Administration staff will deny initial claims and conclude that you are able to do some type of work.

After receiving a denial, you can file an appeal through a process known as Reconsideration. You can add more evidence to support your claim, but it will be reviewed by agency staff who are applying the same set of standards as on the initial application, so unfortunately your claim will most likely be denied again.

At that point, however, you gain your best opportunity for success. You can request a hearing. Then you have the chance to present your case to the administrative law judge, and judges will often look at cases much more favorably because they have a complete record to review and have the opportunity to talk with you about your condition(s). While an administrative hearing is not quite as formal as a courtroom trial, it is still critical to follow appropriate procedure, so assistance from an attorney is very helpful. More importantly, the hearing usually represents your last chance to present the best evidence to show why you should be receiving disability benefits. An experienced disability attorney will know how to make the most of your opportunities to show how your disability prevents you from working.

Our Team Can Assist with All Stages of the Process

Many attorneys will help disability applicants who are preparing for a hearing, but they don’t want to work on a case during the initial application phase. We are different. At Burgess & Christensen, we want to help at every step along the way to increase your chances of success. For instance we can:

  • Help you determine whether you qualify for disability benefits and which program you should apply under
  • Assist with preparing your initial application and supporting documentation
  • Help you file for reconsideration after a denial
  • Gather the strongest medical and occupational evidence to prove your disability prevents you from engaging in gainful employment
  • Advocate on your behalf during administrative hearings and other proceedings
  • Pursue appeals to the Social Security Appeals Council or  to the Federal District Court.

We do not charge an hourly fee, so it is to your benefit to begin working with our team as early in your case as possible. Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means we only collect a fee if you win andare entitled to past due benefits (back pay). You pay nothing up front.

Research Shows That Having a Legal Representative Increases Your Chances of Receiving Benefits

Statistics kept by the Social Security Administration show that applicants who hire an attorney are more likely to obtain disability benefits than those who attempt to handle the process on their own. In fact, because of this, lawmakers passed legislation to set rules for and limits on the fees attorneys are allowed to charge in such cases. (The issue is neatly summarized in the Testimony of the Honorable Robert T. Matsui of California in the Congressional Record of November 16, 2001.)

It seems strange that those who are suffering from disabilities that prevent them from working must put forth so much effort and exhibit concentrated professional knowledge in order to obtain benefits from the program created to help them. Unfortunately, however, the process is unlikely to change anytime soon. We do all we can to make it as smooth as possible for our clients.

Call for a Free Case Evaluation to Learn What Burgess & Christensen Can Do for You

If you are unable to work due to disability, we want to help you obtain all benefits to which you may be entitled. We invite you to call us at 770-422-8111 or contact us online to learn about your eligibility for benefits and the ways our team can assist.

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    Free evaluation of your case

    When you are unable to work, you still need to support yourself and your family. Call us at 770-422-8111 or contact us online. We do not charge any fees until the disability claim is approved and our fees are authorized.