Hi. I only just came back to the group. Had pneumonia since Christmas.
I went to the disability lawyer after I was denied the first time and he handled it through to the hearing level. I had a good lawyer and worked with his wonder assistant. Anything majorly new that came up, I phoned her and got a copy and faxed it to her myself. I finally got my disability last August. If you want to know more, email me.
So, I got the lawyer after the first denial. They charge the same no matter when you begin, so it's up to you.
If I had it to do over, I would have gotten a disibility lawyer to begin with. They really do know how everything works, and the best way to approach things, and to work through the system as quickly as possible.
Did the lawyer you met with work on a contingency basis? My attorney got 40%, but it was worth it, because I probably would have been denied again if I hadn't hired him.
He was trying to help my sister, but she was helped so much by physical therapy that she's returning to work, so he got nothing for his work with her.
OK, ask the lawyer if it is best to wait until after the first denial, so he can see what points you were denied on. Then again, I read that the backlog of applicants was so great that most were automatically denied the first time around.
If the lawyer thinks you have a really strong chance, it might be best to start right out with him.
Here I am, thinking by typing again.
My advice is to file without a lawyer. Unlesss you are practically comatose you will be turned down first round, whether you have a lawyer or not. So then you appeal, and have a much better chance in round two, on your own. Only if you're turned down at this stage should you hire a lawyer. Remember that they charge the big bucks, which will eat considerably into whatever first payment you get. You also need a cooperative neuro and possibly your PCP in your corner.
Just a little PS to my post: First round applicants are turned down not because of the backlog of applications, but to eliminate the many so-called "frivolous" applicants, who will then give up. The government deliberately makes the process difficult, so persistence pays. I live quite near the national headquarters of Social Security, so I've known more than a few Disability Claims Authorizers.
You will also be examined by doctors that Social Security sends you to. I've been through that process a few times; first before I was approved, and then for a couple of reviews, to make sure I hadn't gotten better. Of course I've gotten worse, so I think my reviews will be farther apart.
The doctor's I've seen were quite nice, but they were being paid by the government.
The article I read that mentioned a backlog of cases was about how long it takes people to get approved for Social Security, and it did indeed mention weeding out the frivolous applicants. The article was more focused on the people that truly needed the assistance, and how hard it was for them to go though the process.
I'm glad ess came along with some clearer advice; my post was kind of scattered last night. Thanks, ess!
Best of luck, MCBCON.
I have a couple of questions for you, are you an attorney? Do you specialize in social Security law? If you answered no, and you want/need SSdisability, you need a specialist in that field. It already takes years to get it with an attorney, so how long do you want to wait?
Remember the government is full of attorneys that make the laws, and the laws are constantly changing. With my fogged brain, I certainly can't keep up with that, so I have an attorney, and I let him deal with the gov't.
Also, the settlement amounts are quite different from what they used to be, there is a cap on what attorneys get from SS disability settlements.
So if you have an attorney, and you trust them, use them, they are usually worth whatever they get paid.
Good luck in your quest!!
I still disagree. Cydney, with all due respect, it does not 'take years' to get a disability award. There is a regulation against filing unless a certain amount of time has elapsed, 5 or 6 months from time of disability, but since the application will be dated from that time, you ultimately will be awarded benefits for the entire time. Having a lawyer cannot speed up the process. The forms are simple in the extreme, written probably at a 4th grade level. It's far simpler than filling out a tax return.
A good neuro will help patients with the disability process and will be familiar with whatever jargon the feds like to see. The applicant does not have to be an attorney to deal with disability, and I would not want to scare anyone into thinking they can't get an award without one. This is not a disability lawyer commercial, after all. Also, please see the ssa.gov web site. There's a huge amount of info very clearly written.
Since the reality is that most cases will be denied during the first round whether or not the applicant has legal representation, he or she has nothing to lose by trying it alone first. And even the 2nd time. Why give up at least 1/3 of your award to someone who does what you can do by yourself? If you think the amount isn't that high, call and ask one of the ones who advertise on TV.
I am glad that you all agree on this subject, NOT.
Actually, my problems is one of cognitive problems and extreme fatigue. My wife is struggling as well. So, help in looking at forms is important. So, I think a lawyer might very well be what is needed.
I need help in this. So, I do not know what else to do.
Follow your gut and your heart. Since you and Mrs. McB are in such dire straits, is it possible you could go to a legal aid society or something? Is there some volunteer organization or paralegal who can help you get started before bringing in the big guns? Try calling your local MS Society. Maybe members of a local support group could recommend someone, or perhaps even be that someone. So you aren't awake at 4 am Central worrying about this instead of getting the restorative sleep you need and deserve.
The lawyer we will be using we are told by others is quite good. She seems very knowlegeable and is sharing good advice about many things to do with the local healthcare providers. Shis is a big help in more than just the legal part.
Her cost is only 25% of the first 5 months of SS payments. Seems reasonable.
During this time of cog-fog, be very careful making decisions! I made a couple of costly decisions that have cost me around $3000, at a time when I can least afford mistakes. Now I'm scrambling for extra money, and trying not to make any more mistakes...
So I think you're making the right decision by hiring somebody to help with the paperwork. I would certainly consider it if I had to go through that.
i have nothing. no doctor. no insurance, or abilitty to see one. i tried to get a lowyer but they woudn't elp me, cuz i'm not on meds and no MS dx, just endo. i take so many herbal things for my health and ave apedial diet, but i'm not well. what can i do?!