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Do Disability Lawyers Drag Out Cases

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It’s true that the longer your case takes, the greater the likelihood that you’ll be awarded past-due benefits. Because disability attorneys are paid a percentage of any back pay you’re awarded , you might worry that your attorney will purposely delay your case in anticipation of a larger paycheck later.

But in reality, your attorney would much rather get paid a lower amount sooner than wait for a potentially larger paycheck that might arrive after several years, if at all. Lawyers, like clients, have bills that pile up while waiting for the outcome of disability claims. Additionally, the fee cap discourages lawyers from dragging the case out. An attorney with a client who receives two years in back due benefitsâthe average time it takes to approve a caseâcan easily hit the fee cap without having to cause unnecessary delay.

Finally, all practicing attorneys are subject to the professional ethics rules of their state bar association. A lawyer who is regularly, intentionally dragging out disability claims for the sole purpose of increasing backpay would likely be the subject of a bar complaint or even an investigation, hurting their professional reputation .

When Is The Right Time In The Application Process To Hire An Attorney

In many cases, people do not feel they need to hire an attorney to help them with the application process until they reach the third level requesting a hearing before an ALJ.

You may or may not need the help of a disability attorney during your initial application process, or even during the next phase, the reconsideration appeal. These stages mostly require completing necessary paperwork and going to medical appointments if the SSA believes it is necessary for them to decide your application.

This does not mean, however, that asking an attorney to help you through this unusual process is a bad idea. Experienced attorneys can help you win your case at the application level remember 30 percent of cases are still approved at the initial level or during the next reconsideration phase.

In these cases, the attorneys can help you gather the evidence that you need to establish the severity of your condition, which plays a key role in the SSA determining your eligibility. This is especially the case when the SSA initial reviewer is looking at whether your condition prevents you from meeting the SGA level.

Most times, however, it is during the request for hearing from an ALJ that claimants turn for help from an experienced Social Security disability lawyer. At this level of the application process, an experienced attorney can make an enormous difference in many ways:

Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits

The SSA has created a five-step process to determine whether an application for SSD is approved. The criteria include the following:

Step One: Is the applicant working? The SSA will not consider a person for disability if they make more than a specified amount each month. If they make less than the designated amount, the SSA will take a more in-depth look at the applicants medical condition.

Step Two: Is the applicants medical condition severe? For the SSA to rule the applicant disabled, the medical condition must prevent the applicant from performing basic functions of work for at least one year. If this is the case, the SSA will look at step three.

Step Three: Is the applicants medical condition on the SSAs list of disabling conditions? If the applicants medical condition is not on the list of illnesses that automatically qualify for disability, the SSA will check to see if the condition is as severe as those on the list. If the condition does not fit the list, the SSA will look at step four. Some of the SSAs disabling conditions include:

  • Mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, autism, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Musculoskeletal system problems, such as back and spine conditions, arthritis, amputations, fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis and fibromyalgia
  • Skin disorders, such as psoriasis, burns and ichthyosis
  • Senses and speech issues, such as vision, hearing and speech loss
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    Morgan And Morgan Overview

    • Morgan And Morgan was first mentioned on PissedConsumer on Oct 17, 2015 and since then this brand received 299 reviews.

    • Morgan And Morgan ranks 195 of 2501 in Lawyers and Legal Services category. The overall rating of the company is 1.2 and consumers are mostly dissatisfied.

    • Recent recommendations regarding this business are as follows: “From my experiences be very careful when doing any business with them.”, “Find a reputable law firm”, “NOT RECOMMENDED! AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!”, “I dont recommend”, “morgan and morgan is a fraud”.

    • Morgan And Morgan was first mentioned on PissedConsumer on Oct 17, 2015 and since then this brand received 299 reviews.

    • Morgan And Morgan ranks 195 of 2501 in Lawyers and Legal Services category. The overall rating of the company is 1.2 and consumers are mostly dissatisfied.

    • Recent recommendations regarding this business are as follows: “From my experiences be very careful when doing any business with them.”, “Find a reputable law firm”, “NOT RECOMMENDED! AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!”, “I dont recommend”, “morgan and morgan is a fraud”.

    • Most commonly, consumers tend to contact Morgan And Morgan to ask questions about: Request for Information, Product/ Service, Employment.

    • The price level of this organization is high according to consumer reviews.

    Social Security Disability Work Credit Requirements

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    The SSA determines whether workers have worked long enough to receive benefits by calculating the amounts they should receive and converting their earnings into work credits. A worker can earn four credits for a year of work, depending on his or her yearly income changes every year. In 2017, a worker will earn one work credit for every $1,300 of wages or self-employment income. However, when the worker earns more than $5,200, they are capped for the year as he or she received four credits. The formula for this number is complicated, but it is recalibrated annually and never decreases.

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    How Long Does It Take To Receive Disability Benefits

    Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to the question of when a person will begin to receive disability benefits. It will depend on whether the claim was approved after submitting an application for the first time, at a reconsideration appeal, or during a disability hearing.

    The length of time it will take to receive SSDI benefits will also depend on how easily the application was processed. If there were issues during processing, such as if the disability examiner had trouble accessing the applicants medical records, that could hold up the process.

    Even in the best-case scenario when there are no issues that hold up an approved application, it will take at least six months to receive SSDI benefits.

    Additional Reasons Why An Attorney Might Reject Your Case

    You don’t meet the technical qualifications for disability benefits. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income even if they meet the medical requirements for disability. This usually happens when a person doesn’t have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI but has too much income or other assets to qualify for SSI. For more information, see our articles on SSI eligibility and SSDI eligibility.

    You’re in your twenties or thirties. Disability benefits are “permanent,” meaning that Social Security generally assumes that a person who is found disabled won’t re-enter the workforce. The older you are, the easier it becomes to establish that you can’t return to work. On the other hand, the SSA is skeptical that a younger individual won’t be able to work at even the easiest jobs. If you’re under the age of 40, an attorney might not want to take your case unless you have very supportive medical documents.

    You’re working or collecting unemployment benefits. The SSA needs to see that you stopped working level) before the agency will even look at your medical records. If you haven’t stopped working yet, lawyers will generally decline to take your case. Collecting unemployment benefits doesn’t always compromise your disability claim, but might be the tipping point for an attorney on the fence about whether to represent you.

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    Social Security Disability Benefits

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    When an injury or illness keeps you away from work for an extended period, it can be difficult to get by. Social Security Disability Insurance is designed to provide financial support to people in this circumstance.

    The problem is, the majority of SSDI applicants are initially denied. Many people then give up, not realizing that there may still be a way to receive the benefits they need and deserve.

    The Social Security Disability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand that a denied claim can have profound effects, particularly on applicants who have no other source of income. Its important to know that, although your application may have been denied, that doesnt mean all hope is lost. Appeals often work, and our legal team may be able to help.

    What Can I Do If Social Security Disability Is Denied

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    If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, do not give up. The majority of initial applications are denied at first. This is simply how the system works. A denial does not mean you are not eligible, and it does not mean that you will not eventually get benefits. It just means that it is time to move on to the next step in the process. The Social Security Disability lawyers at Morgan & Justice in Columbus can help you take that step.

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    Why Your Social Security Claim Was Denied

    People often wonder why their application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income was denied. There may be any number of reasons. Perhaps a certain piece of documentation was missing. Perhaps the documentation was not specific enough in explaining what your disability is and how it prevents you from working. Perhaps something was overlooked.

    We will review your claim. We will determine why it was denied, and we will gather additional medical documentation and other information to support your claim. Our attorneys are skilled at building strong cases and pursuing them through all stages of appealing denied claims.

    How Can A Disability Attorney Help You

    The SSDI application process can be exhausting, confusing, and frustrating. A Morgan & Morgan attorney can help make sense of the process, as well as review your application and accompanying documentation for errors that might result in rejection.

    If youve been rejected, our attorneys can help you file an appeal. We can identify which documents are missing that might bolster your case, gather and present critical supporting evidence, and prepare you to answer the administrative law judges questions.

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    What Are The Differences Between Ssdi Benefits And Ssi Benefits

    To qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to have a disability or a condition that satisfies the Social Security Administrations definition of disability:

    • You need to have worked in a job where you paid taxes for Social Security.
    • In 2021, you need to have obtained 40 work credits in total and 20 over the last 10 years. In 2021, you gain one work credit for every $1,470 you earned from wages or income from self-employment. There are also special conditions for younger disabled individuals who may not have had time to obtain the necessary work credits.
    • You need to prove that your disability or your illness has prevented you from working for either the past 12 months or will prevent you from working for 12 months or longer.
    • You also need to prove that you are not meeting the Substantial Gainful Activity of income per month. In 2021, that is $1,310. If you are earning more than that amount in a month, even if you have a disability, you are not eligible for SSDI benefits.
    • No SSDI benefits are paid for partial disabilities or disabilities that last less than 12 months.

    There are some key differences in SSI benefits:

    You will continue to receive both SSDI benefits and SSI benefits as long as you are disabled. Depending upon the nature of your disability or illness, you will undergo a Continuing Disability Review roughly every three to five years to determine if you are still disabled.

    Why Would A Disability Lawyer Reject Or Drop My Case

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    An attorney will try to identify red flags during the client intake process and may let you know then that they won’t be representing you. But sometimes these red flags don’t come to light until after you’ve hired a lawyer, at which point the lawyer might drop your case.

    Here are some of the red flags that could keep a lawyer from taking a case.

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    Are You Medically Eligible For Ssdi Benefits

    The SSA has a five-step process for determining an applicants eligibility for SSDI benefits:

  • Is the applicant working? The SSA generally wont consider you disabled if you are working and earning more than a certain amount per month .
  • Is the applicants medical condition severe? Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to carry out basic work functions such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and remembering things.
  • Is the applicants condition on the SSAs list of disabling conditions? The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that it considers severe enough to prevent a person from maintaining gainful employment. Your condition must either be on the list or deemed as severe as an ailment that is.
  • Is the applicant able to do the job he or she did previously? The SSA will evaluate if your medical condition precludes you from performing any of your past work. If it doesnt, they will determine you dont have a qualifying disability.
  • Is the applicant able to do any other work? By considering factors such as your medical status, age, education, work experience, and skills, the SSA will determine if you can work in a different capacity. If youre found not physically capable of performing other work, the SSA will rule you disabled.
  • What Is Social Security Disability Insurance

    Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that pays benefits to people who are too hurt or sick to work. To qualify, you must earn less than a certain amount of money per month, have paid Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes to the Social Security Administration for a certain length of time, and have a medical condition that meets the programs standard for disability.

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    Contact Morgan & Morgan

    You work hard and take pride in what you do, so when an injury or illness keeps you away from work for an extended period, it can be tough to manage. The last thing you need in a difficult time is to have your SSDI benefits denied.

    Whether you are planning on applying for SSDI benefits, or you already applied and were denied, our attorneys can work on your behalf to help you get the benefits you deserve.

    It costs nothing to get started, and we get paid only if your case is successful. Contact Morgan & Morgan by scheduling a free case evaluation now.

    Morgan & Morgan Attorneys At Law Pc

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    Established in 1981

    Serving Athens, GA

    Established in 1981

    Client Champion awards recognize those attorneys who excel at service as affirmed by their clients. The awards, based on the quantityand quality of an attorneys Martindale-Hubbell client reviews, demonstrate an ongoing commitment to delivering excellent client service.Award recipients stand out from their peers with a platinum, gold or silver icon.

    A lawyer who receives a minimum threshold of qualifying responses from fellow attorneys can qualify for one of three prestigiousMartindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings:

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    How To Apply For Disability In Kentucky

    If youre looking to file a disability claim, we can help you gather and present evidence to demonstrate that you are disabled under the terms of the policy you have been issued. We can refer you to medical professionals who understand how insurance carriers expect to see information explained in medical records. Our legal team will push back against unnecessary delays, demanding that insurers make payments you qualify for and make any offsets allowed when your benefits are approved.

    Whether you are just beginning the application process or have been denied and need to appeal, we encourage you to contact our disability lawyers first. Our legal team can walk you through the process in a free consultation and take the pressure off of you by handling your claim from start to finish. Contact us today if you need help with applying for disability in Kentucky.

    They Assist You At The Hearing

    Your attorney supports you through this entire process, but this is particularly true at the ALJ hearing. Acting as your representative, your lawyer can submit your evidence, including any new medical information that has a direct bearing on your claim. They can also advise you whether you should include any witnesses that your hearing who can support your story, and they can question you about your disability which allows you to tell your story in your own words. If there are any medical doctors or vocational experts in attendance, they can ask them questions about your case.

    Your attorney understands what medical and legal evidence is required by the ALJ to grant your appeal. They know the right questions to ask and the most critical documents to discuss. Experienced attorneys also have a feel for the kind of evidence that certain ALJ judges require, especially if they have appeared in front of them in previous cases.

    There is another good reason to hire an attorney to help you during this appeal stage. If you represent yourself, and you have gone through the entire process of gathering documentation, preparing witnesses and then arguing your case in front of the judge, the judge may wonder why you can deal with all of the legwork that is required to deal with the Social Security appeal at this level but you say you cannot work. Not every judge may respond this way, but it is a factor to consider.

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