You have been working full-time since you were 18 years old. You have had a variety of jobs, but have always worked hard to support yourself and—eventually—your family. Now you find yourself unable to work. Whether it was an illness or an injury that has left you disabled, you are now in need of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you have paid into virtually your whole life. This should be easy, right? Unfortunately, it is not this straightforward. Nearly 70 percent of first-time applicants are denied SSDI. So what can you do to improve your odds? You might want to start with hiring an experienced SSDI attorney.
What Can Our Attorneys Do for You?
While this is probably your first time dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is not our first time. This is probably the greatest advantage we can bring to you. We know whether you are qualified for benefits, how the application process works, and what a successful application needs. When you come to us right away, we can potentially save you months of waiting for benefits. Specifically, the SSDI attorneys at Keller & Keller will do the following for you:
- Determine your eligibility. When you schedule a free consultation in our Albuquerque office, we will take a quick look at your medical records and work history to determine if you are indeed eligible for SSDI. Many people apply for disability when they are not eligible, which is a waste of time and effort. If we believe you should qualify based on what we see, we will help you with the next steps.
- Explain your options. Social Security programs can be confusing. We will help you understand all of your options so you can make the best choices moving forward. Depending on your age, number of years in the system, and economic status, you may have some important decisions to make and we will help you with those.
- Prepare paperwork. Many people are denied disability the first time because they do not complete the proper paperwork or they do not correctly fill out the application. We will take care of all paperwork for you, ensuring that it is done right the first time. We will gather the documentation you need to prove your claim and submit a strong application.
- Evaluate your medical records. If you do not have adequate medical records, we will help you get the tests and evaluations you will need to prove your disability. Medical records are the most important part of an SSDI application and we will review them to make sure you have everything you need for a successful application.
- Work with vocational experts and others. Along with physical disability, you will have to show that you are unable to perform work duties or maintain substantial gainful employment. We will have a vocational expert examine your work history, education, and training in order to demonstrate your inability to work given your physical condition. The SSA will also have vocational experts examining your application, so it is important that you prepare by working with one of your own.
- File all necessary legal briefs. We will stay on top of time limits and file all legal papers on your behalf. Should you need to file an appeal, we will be on top of that and make sure everything is in on time.
While your chances of approval are greatly improved by working with our attorneys, if your initial application is denied, we will be ready to start the appeal process immediately.
No Fees Unless You Are Awarded Benefits
SSDI claims are taken on a contingency fee basis. That means that until and unless your application is approved, you do not pay us a dime. The SSA has a cap on legal fees of 25 percent of your past due benefits, up to $6000. The maximums may increase if your case proceeds to the appeals court or federal district court. If you have questions about anything you have read here, feel free to call us to schedule your free consultation. We are happy to help you through this process.