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7 Reasons Why You Should Hire An SSD Benefits Lawyer

If you have become disabled and are unable to work for a living, Social Security disability (SSD) benefits could provide the financial help and support you need.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides assistance to qualified people who demonstrate they meet the SSA’s definition of being disabled, a process that requires submission of many forms detailing medical reports, prior employment records and other information.

At the Frank Jenkins Law Office, we highly recommend obtaining the assistance of an experienced SSD benefits lawyer. Here’s why:

1. Most SSD applications are initially denied. From 2001 to 2010, nearly 53 percent of disability claims were denied, according to the Social Security Administration. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 28 percent. About 3 percent of applicants were awarded benefits at the reconsideration level, which comes after an initial denial. About 13 percent of applicants obtained SSD benefits after an appeals hearing.

A qualified Social Security disability lawyer can help you improve your claim’s chance of being approved by making sure that your application is complete, accurate and in the proper format.

2. Many SSD applications are denied for technical reasons. In 2010, 31 percent of SSD applications (more than 878,000) were rejected for reasons that had nothing to do with the applicant’s disability or medical condition. They were rejected based on “technical denials” before medical facts of the case were even considered. Having a lawyer can help you avoid a claim denial based on a bureaucratic technicality.

3. An experienced SSD benefits lawyer knows the way. Most tasks are easier if you have done them before. Social Security disability benefits lawyers deal with the SSD application and appeals processes daily and have relationships with agency employees, including Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who conduct hearings. They know what needs to be done for a successful outcome.

For instance, to file for an appeal after reconsideration of a claim is denied, the SSD benefits applicant must request a hearing within 60 days of receiving the reconsideration decision. A hearing request requires the completion of several forms:

  • SSA-3441, Disability Report-Appeal
  • SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information
  • HA-4631, Claimant’s Recent Medical Treatment
  • HA-4632, Claimant’s Medications

But, the SSA says the applicant “must” complete forms SSA-3441 and SSA-827, and “should” complete forms HA-4631 and HA-4632. If the applicant has worked since applying for disability benefits, they must also complete an HA-4633, Claimant’s Work Background.

And if there’s new evidence for the ALJ to consider, it should be submitted with the request for a hearing or within 10 days after filing the request. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the ALJ’s declining to consider the evidence, the SSA says.

This is a lot to keep up with for a person dealing with an injury or illness and keeping all of their medical appointments, which is a requirement for obtaining SSD benefits.

4. SSD benefits attorneys are effective. In a report released in September 2012, the Social Security Advisory Board said the help of a third-party representative has “the potential to greatly expedite the disability determination process, while ensuring that the claimant receives the most informed determination possible at the initial claims stage.”

The study notes that any third party can assist an SSD applicant, but says that “ideally, representatives should have a thorough knowledge of SSA policy, take a comprehensive approach to documenting the claimant’s disabling conditions, and establish good communication with both the claimant and agency employees.” An experienced Kentucky SSD attorney meets these criteria, whereas another person who offers to assist you might not.

5. An SSD benefits lawyer has professional standards. Any third party can assist an applicant with an SSD claim. But once a disability claim gets to the appeals level, a non-attorney representative must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a background check and a written test, and have some form of liability insurance.

A Kentucky SSD benefits attorney who represents an SSD benefits applicant, like all lawyers who practice in Kentucky, is required to abide by the ethics rules of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. If you think that a Kentucky lawyer has committed an act that violates the rules of ethics, you can report it to the Kentucky Bar Association for an investigation. Complaints can result in punishment that ranges from private warning to disbarment.

Among the most widely recognized ethics an attorney abides by is confidentiality. A non-attorney representative would be someone you trust, or course, but if such a representative divulged confidential information about you, or another dispute arose between you, where would you go to complain?

6. An SSD benefits lawyer is not alone. Most Social Security disability benefits attorneys, like those at the Frank Jenkins Law Office, do not work alone. We are supported by a strong team of professionals that includes partner attorneys, paralegals and administrative assistants. This means your questions and concerns are answered in a timely manner and, most importantly, filings in your case meet deadlines.

7. An SSD benefits lawyer works on a contingency-fee basis. Frank Jenkins Law Office’s SSD benefits lawyers, like most attorneys, work on a contingency-fee basis. Our legal fees depend on the awards we obtain for our clients. You won’t pay any fees to us up front and won’t ever pay us a fee until we help you obtain SSD benefits.

Get Help from a Kentucky Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

The Kentucky Social Security Disability lawyers at the Frank Jenkins Law Office have successfully helped disabled individuals obtain the SSD benefits they deserve and need. Let us help you, too.

Contact the Frank Jenkins Law Office for a free case evaluation at 859-389-9344 or through our online contact form.