Most people seeking Social Security disability benefits lack expert knowledge about disability law when they file a claim. They may not know they can hire disability lawyers to assist with their claim, or that Georgia SSDI lawyers can help maximize their chance of winning benefits.
If you’re seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it may feel like you’re dealing with a never-ending barrage of information. This can quickly become overwhelming, especially when your family’s financial wellbeing is at stake.
The good news is that the right attorneys can help you throughout each stage of your claim, from start to finish. Not only that, but Social Security disability lawyers typically don’t charge an up-front attorneys’ fee. Rather, they collect this fee from your first benefits check when you win your claim. Should you be denied benefits, you typically won’t owe anything.
This means you can consult with a lawyer as soon as you decide to file a claim without worrying about a hefty up-front cost for legal services. You can consult a lawyer at any time; however, the earlier you do so, the better prepared your attorneys can be to advocate for you as your claim moves through each stage.
Your next question might be: How do I find the best attorneys based on the unique circumstances of my case? How do I get in touch with attorneys who can help me?
A free case evaluation is an easy and informative way to talk to attorneys about the specifics of your claim and decide if they’re a good fit.
Affleck & Gordon are Georgia SSDI lawyers with decades of experience helping clients win their benefits.
Here’s a closer look at what happens during a free case evaluation with our expert attorneys, and how we can advocate for you.
Table of Contents:
- Step 1: Signing up for a Free Case Evaluation
- Step 2: Do You Qualify for SSDI?
- Step 3: What to Expect When You Meet with Georgia SSDI Lawyers
Step 1: Signing up for a Free Case Evaluation
Signing up for a free case evaluation is easy and stress-free. Most attorneys offer a webpage you can use to contact them electronically via a contact page or email address, which can be found with a quick Google search. They will also have a phone number and physical address you can use.
However you choose to contact attorneys, you can ask any questions you have about the case evaluation and how to prepare for this initial meeting with attorneys.
Affleck & Gordon offer multiple ways to get in touch with us to schedule a free case evaluation.
Schedule a Case Evaluation Online
Scheduling a case evaluation online is fast and easy. You can visit Affleck & Gordon’s contact page to schedule your free case evaluation today.
You can also schedule your case evaluation online or ask questions by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call or Visit our Offices
If you prefer, you can contact us directly via telephone at (404) 990-3945 or toll-free at (800) 866-5660.
You can also visit any of our regional offices at the following locations. Due to Covid-19 precautions, please call to schedule an appt.
- Atlanta - Main Office: 211 Perimeter Center Parkway, Suite 1050, Atlanta, GA 30346
- Columbus Office: The Corporate Center, Suite 818-A, 233 12th Street, Columbus, GA 31901
- Conyers Office: 1775 Parker Road, SE, Bldg. C, Suite 210, Conyers, GA 30094
- Griffin Office: 120 W Solomon St #1103, Griffin, GA 30223
Step 2: Do You Qualify for SSDI?
One of the things to determine before you apply for SSDI is how you qualify. SSDI is an earned benefit based on earning work credits.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA): “Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.”
Other factors for qualification include:
- You must not be able to work in a field where you have prior experience nor any other work as defined by the SSA due to your disability. You must also not be currently earning above $1,350 per month in 2022, or $2,260 per month for individuals who are blind.
- You must have a functional disability that has or will have a severe impact on your ability to work for at least 12 months. Your disability must either meet the strict criteria of the SSA’s disability listings, or you will have to otherwise prove your disability prevents you from working using medical evidence such as test results, imaging, and written explanations from your physicians.
Step 3: What to Expect When You Meet with Georgia SSDI Lawyers
You can get the most out of your meeting with Georgia SSDI lawyers by knowing what to expect.
One of the most important things lawyers should explain during a free case evaluation is the cost of retaining their services.
Georgia SSDI lawyers will typically not collect an up-front fee and instead receive payment from the past-due benefits you are awarded, with a maximum fee of 25% not to exceed $6000. What that means is:
- You sign a contract agreeing to these payment terms called a “contingency agreement.”
- If you win your claim, your attorney usually collects their fee directly, and you won’t have to pay them yourself or do anything additional.
- You will receive the remainder of your back pay depending on when your benefits start.
- If you don’t win your case, you won’t owe any attorney’s fee.
During your case evaluation, attorneys will also discuss what to expect at each stage of your claim.
Attorneys should explain a timeline of your claim, which can differ depending on your unique claim. On average, it takes three to five months for an initial decision, though this is just an average.
If you’re initially denied, you may have to appeal the decision. The first level of appeal is to ask for reconsideration by the SSA. If the SSA upholds the denial, you will then have to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Other levels of appeal include requesting a review from the Appeals Council or taking the case to federal court.
Each of these stages can take anywhere from a month to years before you receive a decision, so it’s important that your attorney gives you a realistic timeline of your case.
When you meet with an attorney, you should bring:
- Birth Certificate
- Proof of Citizenship
- U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968
- W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
- A concise summary of your illnesses, injuries, or conditions, and your work history
- Medical evidence already in your possession, including medical records, doctors' reports, and recent test results
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers' compensation-type benefits you received
- A list of questions to decide if the attorney is a good fit for your needs.
After a free case evaluation, you should have a clear idea of how lawyers can help with your SSDI case and whether they’re a good fit for your claim. Arming yourself with this knowledge gives you the best chance of choosing the right attorney and winning your claim.
If your SSDI claim has been denied, Affleck and Gordon can help. We’ve been helping disabled people in Georgia just like you for over 40 years. Once you have applied online for benefits, sign up for a free case evaluation here, and call us (404) 990-3945.