If you’ve been involved in an accident or have been injured because of the actions of another person, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney about filing a personal injury claim.
However, if your condition or injury causes chronic disability, even if it has been caused by an accident or the fault of another, you may still seek assistance in filing for benefits from Social Security to assist with your medical and daily expenses. There are two programs that may be able to help: either Georgia Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A Georgia SSDI lawyer can help.
But where do you start?
What are SSI and SSDI?
SSI and SSDI are two programs managed by the Social Security Administration for people suffering from chronic, long-term disabilities. The differences between these two programs are based on your financial need and your past contributions to social security. If you have never contributed to social security, you're eligible for SSI, and if you've contributed to social security over your lifetime, you are eligible for SSDI.
These two programs are designed to provide ongoing, monthly financial assistance to individuals--and their families--if they are no longer able to work. A personal injury attorney may have handled your case regarding your incident, accident, or injury, but for assistance with a Social Security claim regarding your chronic disability, it's best to speak with an attorney or law firm group that specializes in disability.
Georgia SSI Lawyers Have a Local Advantage
There are many benefits of working with a Georgia SSDI lawyer for your disability case instead of with a larger, national firm. A local disability attorney is acquainted with the local SSA office, the local Administrative Law Judge, (ALJ), and knows the personalities of the faces behind the desks. This means that they have the experience to effectively represent clients by working closely with the SSA on your behalf. A lawyer is your partner and is an advocate for you, and the best SSDI lawyers will do all that they can to effectively win disability benefits for you. In short, by working closely with the local offices, a local SSDI attorney may be able to get better outcomes for their clients because of the working relationships that they have with those within the SSA.
Attorneys that specialize in disability also have deep knowledge of this practice area of law. This leads to fewer delays, mistakes, and potential problems with your claim. Once you've filed your disability claim, your disability lawyer can review and assist you with your paperwork, compiling evidence and documents, and assisting you with a potential denial or an eventual appeal. A more accurate claim--one with all documents presented error-free and complete, is more likely to be approved.
According to the SSA, denials for disability claims averages about 53 percent. The majority of denials are because of technical or medical details--meaning either evidence is omitted, incorrect, or incomplete. Having the right disability legal team on your side can help eliminate these omissions or errors.
Disability Attorneys Understand the Process
There are big differences between a personal injury case and/or trial and the process of obtaining social security disability benefits. Disability attorneys specializing in one or two practice areas, like Social Security disability and Veterans disability, are focused on the process of obtaining benefits for their clients and ushering them through the process of denials, appeals, and reconsiderations. Like all aspects of government, the SSA is subject to change and update laws surrounding the process. Although those changes are designed to improve or streamline the process, an attorney not well-versed in all aspects of disability law may not be as up to date as an attorney who specializes in disability.
How is a Disability Lawyer Paid?
A disability attorney is only paid if you win your case. This is called a contingency fee, which means they are paid contingent on a successful outcome. With Affleck & Gordon, there are no up front fees. You will sign an agreement with us that outlines how our office will be paid for assisting with your claim. According to laws that protect claimants, a disability lawyer can’t charge more than 25% of the past-due benefits that you are owed, up to $6,000. If your claim or appeal are lost, you won’t pay your attorney for their services. Although there may be fees associated with your claim, these generally are under $400.
When Should I Contact a Disability Attorney?
It’s a fact that having a disability attorney by your side rather than going it alone increases your chances of success during a disability claim, appeal, and reconsideration. Attorneys know the law and what mistakes people often make in filing their claims. Once you’ve filed for disability, an attorney can help you at every step. You can also contact an attorney after your initial claim has been denied for a free consultation. Our attorneys can determine whether or not you have a solid case to pursue, and can advise you on your next steps.
Affleck & Gordon
At Affleck & Gordon, we’ve developed a strong reputation in Georgia as the right team to have by your side during a disability claim. Whether you are filing for SSI, SSDI, or even Veterans’ disability, we are here to assist you when you need it the most. It’s our specialty, and we look forward to helping you receive the benefits for yourself and your family that you deserve. With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Columbus, and Griffin, we can meet you where you are to assist with your case. We are dedicated to helping people in need receive benefits, and look forward to helping you, too. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.