You have worked your entire life, you become disabled, what are your options? The process of applying for disability can be an enormous task, there are deadlines to meet, appeals to file, and in most cases a hearing before a Federal Administrative Law Judge.
Where to apply for disability? You may apply either by telephone, in person at the office of Social Security, by mail, and by the website of the Social Security Department.
What happens after I apply, will I automatically get my disability? Generally speaking the answer is no, most people do not get their disability approved after their initial application.
What happens after I am denied my disability the first time? After your denial you may appeal this decision, this appeal is called reconsideration, you are asking the Social Security Disability agency to reconsider their decision, unfortunately most people are again denied at this stage as well.
What happens if they deny my appeal? You have a right to ask a Federal Administrative Law Judge to hear your case, as with this entire process you have dead lines you must meet, otherwise your claim will dismissed based on you failing to take action in the allotted time frame.
What happens at the trial of my case? You will need to have all of your medical records up to date, a trial brief is a good idea to present to the judge, your testimony, ability to cross examine the vocational expert, an understanding of the grid system, the listings, the classification of your prior jobs, the exertion limits and how they apply to possible jobs the vocational expert might say you can perform, these are a few of the things that should be done at your hearing before the judge.
How do I pay an attorney, I can’t afford one? I am payed only if I win your case, and only if there is back pay owed to you, (back pay is the money you receive if you win your claim based on the months it has taken since your date of illness that stopped you from working). The government witholds a fee from your back pay, to pay your attorney. The government caps the amount of money that can be paid to the attorney.
What is the difference if someone said they are an advocate, but not an attorney? As an Attorney I was required to attend law school for 3 years to obtain my law degree, 4 years of college, and pass a test administered by the State of Tennessee called a Bar exam, then I became licensed to practice law. An advocate that is not an attorney, has not become licensed by the Bar of their state, and has probably not attended law school, you may want to ask if the person you are allowing to represent you is a Licensed Attorney or just an advocate.
As a Licensed Attorney I would pleased to speak with you about your disability claim, please give us a call anytime Monday through Saturday at toll free (877) 271-2633.
Daniel L. McMurtry, Esq.