Edwards & Kautz
Protecting your rights in western Kentucky

Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Appeal an Unfavorable Social Security Disability Claim?

Understanding the appeals process and hiring a social security disability attorney will improve your chances of approval. Disability claims involve filling out paperwork, gathering all required information and submitting everything properly to the Social Security Office. The claim is then reviewed by administrators and staff doctors to approve or deny the claim. Mistakes, errors or incomplete information will most likely result in your claim being denied. Learning when to apply for social security disability benefits and when to hire an attorney will help avoid denial and prepare you for the possible appeals process. How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Kentucky The social security disability application process begins with a trip to the Social Security office in your area. Filing your application in person allows you to ask any questions you have about the application as you complete it. Applying in person also allows the claims representative assigned to you to highlight important information that might further your case. Alternatively, you can apply for disability benefits online by going to www.ssa.gov. Your application will be sent to the approval board for review. You will receive the decision by mail. Typically, your claim will be decided within a few months. If your claim is denied, you have only 60 days in which to appeal the decision. How are Social Security Disability Claims Evaluated? The Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center (SSDRC) indicates that there are two ways that decisions are made concerning disability benefits claims:

  1. You satisfy the requirements of the Social Security list of impairments--also known as the "listing manual." These types of approvals are based solely on medical evidence. Because of the exacting and specific requirements for medical issues, this is a rare type of approval.
  2. The second type of approval is a "vocational allowance." Your work history and medical information will both be examined. To receive approval, you must prove that your disability prevents you from working in your trained line of work and that you are unable to switch to another type of work.

The majority of applicants are denied, which moves you on to the appeals process. This process must be started within 60 days of your denial date. The SSDRC advises that this is when applicants should hire a social security disability attorney if one is not already involved. Why Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney? Having a social security attorney on your side is beneficial when appealing a disability benefits denial. An attorney can help you determine the strength of your case, help you submit the appeals application and paperwork, and then help you build your case to receive approval. Most social security attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they are not paid until you are awarded disability. The fee charged is regulated at the federal level: $6,000 or 25% of disability back pay--whichever is least. It is recommended that you hire an attorney to help you through the appeals process. If you have questions about how to apply for social security disability benefits, contact Edwards & Kautz Law Firm at 866.795.5087 to schedule a free legal consultation concerning your case. We are more than happy to help you with the social security disability claim. *according to this study by the State of Kentucky  Photo by Flazingo Photos via Flikr CC 2.0

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Edwards & Kautz

Edwards & Kautz
222 Walter Jetton Blvd
Paducah, KY 42003

Phone: 270-908-4914
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