Social Security Disability benefits offer a great resource for Calhoun residents who have been injured, have a chronic illness, or are unable to work for similar reasons. But, it can be very difficult to get benefits, even if you clearly qualify to receive them. The vast majority of Social Security disability applications are denied in the first round. Although the denial isn’t automatic, it often takes some significant effort to get benefits. Having a Calhoun Social Security disability lawyer on your side can make the process much easier and more effective.
John Foy & Associates has been helping people get Social Security disability benefits for over 20 years. We understand the ins and outs of the qualifications and the application process. We also have extensive experience helping with appeals once the first round of applications has been denied. We can put that experience and knowledge to good use for you. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Do I Know When I Should Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits is complicated, and sometimes unnecessarily cumbersome. But, the application is designed for you to be able to apply for benefits on your own, often with the help of an employee that works for a local Social Security disability office. Despite the fact that you could go through the application process alone, you certainly don’t have to. Having an attorney right away to help you with the application has significant advantages, including having someone who will:
- Gather documents for you
- Make sure that you have all of the supporting evidence you need
- Talk to doctors and get opinions when you need them
- Fill out the paperwork on your behalf so you know it is complete and accurate
- Speak with the Social Security disability office for you
- Know the lingo and process, giving you an edge in submitting your application
Perhaps the biggest advantage, however, is that those who have Social Security disability lawyers help them with their application have an increased chance of getting benefits, even at the initial application stage. In many cases, it’s hard for someone who has an illness or debilitating condition to visit with doctors, gather documents, and connect with a Social Security disability representative. The application process is very time-consuming and can be difficult to understand. Having someone not only be your advocate, but also your “runner” has significant value.
Many people choose to wait and hire an attorney after they are denied benefits at the first level of application. While you certainly can do this, having an attorney right away decreases the chances that you will have to appeal the first decision. But, it’s definitely possible that your application is denied regardless of whether you have a lawyer at the first application phase, as well. Because the appeal process is more complicated, it’s a good idea to get an attorney at this level if you haven’t already.
How Expensive Is Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
Unlike other types of cases, lawyers in Calhoun are regulated by federal law regarding how much they can charge for services related to Social Security disability benefits. Generally, that means that your attorney will often charge either 25% of your disability backpay amount or $6,000, whichever is lower. The fee is structured so that you don’t have to pay much, if anything, up front. You only pay your lawyer if you get benefits from your claim.
What Are Some of the Need-to-know Terms for Social Security Disability?
The law surrounding Social Security disability benefits is very unique. It has its own legal terms that simply aren’t applicable in other areas of the law. Below are just a few examples of these terms.
Alleged Onset Date
The alleged onset date (AOD) is the date on which you became disabled or ill. Your condition must be severe enough at this point to warrant Social Security disability benefits, which means you were not able to work as of this date. This date is important because it will determine how much you will be entitled to receive for backpay.
Backpay refers to the payments that you can receive when the Social Security Administration determines that you are entitled to benefits. Your backpay starts as of the alleged onset date and continues to the current date. They do this type of retroactive payment plan because it can take a significant amount of time to apply and qualify for Social Security disability benefits. There is also a required five-month waiting period that will fall under the backpay time as well.
Established Onset Date
Although you may allege that you’re no longer able to work as of a certain date, the Social Security Administration may not agree with you on this date. When this happens, they will create an “established onset date,” which they think is more appropriate based on the facts of your case. They must have contrary medical evidence to establish this date, however. In many situations where people are granted benefits, the alleged onset date and the established onset date will end up being the same date.
Blue Book (Listed Impairments)
The Social Security Administration uses a large list of medical impairments to determine whether someone should be provided with benefits. This listing is often referred to as the “Blue Book.” It sets out a wide range of conditions and describes how severe the condition must be to warrant an award of Social Security disability benefits. The various disabling conditions are generally considered in combination to determine whether benefits are appropriate.
Talk to a Calhoun Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
If you want to start the application process for Social Security disability benefits or you need to appeal a negative decision, our team can help. We can help you gather the right information to present along with your application, increasing your chances of getting benefits. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form and get your FREE consultation today.