What is a Disability Attorney?
A disability attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, is a lawyer who specializes in Georgia Workers’ Compensation, federal Veterans’ Administration Disability, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). When an attorney focuses on these specific practice areas, it means that they are deeply invested in the details of the law surrounding disability, the Social Security Administration and their changing rules, and what’s happening on the state level with workers’ compensation claims. A disability attorney normally won’t handle other legal issues like family law or criminal law.
Simply put, they are subject matter experts in disability claims.
A disability attorney acts as the liaison for the client when communicating with the Social Security Administration. This ensures that the SSA has the right information regarding the claimant’s case. They will help you build your file with the correct medical records that show the correlation between your injury and your work history. This step is crucial, as it connects the medical realities to the claimant’s job duties and how the injury affects their life.
When Should you Contact a Disability Attorney?
Although you can retain an attorney at any point in your disability claim, the sooner you contact a disability attorney, the better. This is because a disability attorney can help you build your medical file from the beginning with the most important and looked-for details that will strengthen your case. Often, when a claimant builds their file themselves, they don’t know exactly what the SSA is looking for, so they either include too much or too little.
A disability attorney knows how to connect your injury to the rules and regulations in the law. Your attorney is also the one who speaks for you in front of the administrative law judge, and can articulate the specifics of your case to the judge. Your attorney will also know what a specific administrative law judge may be looking for in a case based on their prior experience with that judge. By having this knowledge, they can prepare you for a successful hearing.
Technically, a disability attorney can step in at any time. From the start, you can schedule a free case evaluation and we can sit with you and learn about your case, and then give you our expert opinion on how best to proceed. We can also join you in the middle of the process, when you’ve already filed for Social Security Disability Insurance and need to strengthen your case. Even if you’ve been denied, it’s not too late to seek the professional assistance of a disability attorney. 64% of all initial SSI claims are denied, but with the right legal representation, we can help you receive the benefits even after an initial denial.
What do I do if my claim has been denied?
- Within 60 days of your denial, you may request an appeal. Make sure you've contacted a disability attorney with enough time available for them to help you with your appeal.
- As soon as you're denied, content a lawyer if you don't have representation already.
- Why were you denied? Find out as soon as you can. It's important that you understand the details of your claim and appeal as you move forward in the process.
What’s the Cost for a Disability Attorney?
Contrary to what many people think, disability lawyers only collect their fee if they win your case. And even when you win, by law, attorney can only collect a percentage--usually 25%--from your backpay, or $6,000 maximum, whichever is greater. That amount is typically paid directly from the SSA to your attorney, making it simpler for you to move forward without worry.
The cost of not retaining a disability attorney, however, can be huge. If you are to lose your appeal because of errors, simple fixes, or lack of important documents that your attorney--had you had one--would have easily prevented, then you are that much father away from gaining the benefits you deserve. The longer you wait, the more difficult you're making it for yourself. In the long run, working with the right disability attorney on your claim not only saves you money, but it saves you time.
Benefits of a Free Case Evaluation
A free case evaluation is just that: it costs you nothing and allows a disability attorney to evaluate your case, whether you're at the beginning, at denial, or in the middle of your appeal. When you contact Affleck & Gordon, a case manager will call you to learn the basic information regarding your case, then an attorney will contact you to learn more. The case evaluation costs nothing and can give you peace of mind regarding your case and your next steps.
Let us help you today.
If your Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance claim has been denied, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck & Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 45 years. Sign up for a free case evaluation here, or call us at (404) 990-3945.