How a social security disability lawyer can handle your claim

by Rohan Mathew
How a social security disability lawyer can handle your claim

There is the Social Security Disability program that is designed to pay cash benefits to people and some of their family members who have an illness or injury that prevents them from participating in significant gainful activities. Therefore, under this program, you are usually considered to be disabled when you cannot change to any other work because of your injury or illness and when the disability is expected to last for long or leads to death. 

Besides, you need to have worked for a specific period also called work credits and even paid Social Security taxes to be eligible for Social Security disability claim. Once they deem that you qualify for this program, then the benefits can vary depending on the average lifetime earnings before your disability started. This article explains how a social security disability lawyer can handle your claim. 

Understanding your social security claim

It’s always important to have a North Myrtle Beach Social Security Disability Lawyer handle your claim because there is a need to develop medical evidence and they can present a theory of your disability. Social Security disability lawyers can manage these cases differently, though there are many similarities when it comes to how attorneys manage and develop cases to prepare for a disability hearing.

Ideally, when you first call a law firm or an attorney for representation, either the firm’s staff member or the attorney will do an initial interview to get the basic information of the case from you. This information can be utilized to help to determine if the firm or attorney can take your case. This interview can be conducted by phone, but you can also request to meet an individual in person.

The law firm’s employees are trained to find cases that have good chances of success. But if it’s a case that is on a borderline, then an attorney can review the file so that they can make a decision about taking the case. If your case stands a little chance of succeeding on appeal, the attorney can decide to decline to represent you.

It’s worth noting that a staff member working for the law firm or the attorney can request the medical records required to make your claim. Once they get these documents, they may send them to the Social Security Administration at the right time before there is a hearing. 

When you decide to hire a lawyer, then you must sign a medical privacy release. This allows your lawyer to have access to the medical records. The lawyer can usually pay for these medical records on your behalf until the case ends. At this point, the lawyer can bill you for the cost.  

Because Social Security usually asks for the type of examination required to win a disability claim, you need an attorney to review the medical records to figure out whether you require to undergo another testing. The lawyer can even ask the Social Security Administration to schedule what is called a consultative examination with their doctor or ask that you do the required examination on your own.

A staff member or your lawyer can decide which physicians to request for supportive statements on functional limitations you’re experiencing. They can also determine the medical records that are relevant to send to the administrative judge responsible for hearing the appeal. Remember that your attorney can also decide what to do with poor evidence that can damage your case. 

How an attorney can prepare you for hearing

It’s quite unusual for a lawyer to wait until the last minute before speaking with you about a disability claim. Up to this point, your contact with the law firm can be with staff members or paralegals, non-attorney staff members are usually responsible for ensuring that requests for hearing deadlines are followed and medical records are asked and received as well as for communication with you about pre-hearing issues. 

As explained earlier, you can find many disability lawyers who can speak with you by phone, though you can also ask for in-person meetings. Before there is a phone conference or pre-hearing meeting, your lawyer may have reviewed all the files and determined the issues that still require to be addressed. So make sure that you have the medical records and other important documents with you in case you may want to refer to them while speaking with your attorney.

Your lawyer may review with you all the questions that you can face during the hearing. During the hearing, they can want you to describe your symptoms, if you are seeing a doctor, if you are anxious or depressed, when you first became too ill to work, if you do any work, and many more.

You need to answer all the questions that your attorney gives you. It’s a good idea to be as honest as possible when answering these questions even if the questions appear to be embarrassing or you feel not comfortable with the answers. Otherwise, your lawyer may fail to represent you effectively. 

Also, keep in mind that your lawyer doesn’t want to judge you, but they are there to assist you to win your claim. It’s also important to remember that your lawyer may only share information with other people that you want them to share. This is called a privilege, but if you are not sure why the lawyer wants to know some information, then you need to ask them to explain why it’s crucial to give the answer. 

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How a lawyer can argue your case

The Social Security Administration can allow you to take a witness to give evidence about your disability. However, because witnesses can sometimes be helpful or harmful, your lawyer can decide if the witness testimony is needed to win the case. Your attorney can be interested in interviewing your former employers or caregivers to write letters to support your disability.

The good thing is that your disability attorney can determine the right way to get a positive outcome. Firstly, your attorney can review the denial letter that the Social Security sent you. In this way, they can uncover the reasons the claim was denied so that these problems may be solved in your favor.

Next, your disability lawyer can create a theory of the reasons you have a disability under Social Security disability law. The lawyer can then write a legal description for the judge to explain the theory of the case. It’s worth noting that there are usually three key theories that a lawyer may use to do this.

Your attorney may prove that your health condition is meeting a disability listing, prove that you grid out of work that includes failing to do your previous work, and prove that there are non-exertional limitations preventing you from working.   

Disability listing refers to a description of your illness that the Social Security Administration writes. Therefore, if you meet the standard in the description, then you can qualify for approval of disability benefits. To find out if you meet this criteria, your lawyer can first determine if the illness falls under a disability listing. If it does, your lawyer may review all the requirements of this listing and check them against the evidence available in your case.

If your lawyer believes that additional testing is required for you to meet this listing, they can ask that an Social Security Administration doctor tests you or that you make the required examination with your doctor. If your condition doesn’t appear likely to meet this listing, the lawyer can look to other theories.

When it comes to the grid, it means that the Social Security Administration can give their opinion on your condition. If they say that you may do your previous work, then your attorney needs to prove that it’s impossible to do your past work. Then, your lawyer can try to utilize the grid so that they can prove that it’s impossible to do even less demanding work.

Keep in mind that the grid refers to a system that the Social Security Administration developed to determine if an individual can work based on your highest exertion level you apply in the job. This looks at the chances of you doing light work, sedentary work, or medium work together considering your education level and your age.

The grid can usually be most useful to less and older educated applicants who may do only minimally active work. To win utilizing the grid, it’s crucial that you get supportive opinion from your doctors who treated you. 

Now, if you can’t grid out of work or don’t meet a disability listing, then your lawyer needs to try to prove to the Social Security Administration that it’s even impossible to do a sedentary work. The grids have the rules that apply only to people who can perform light, medium, or sedentary work.

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