When To Talk To A Social Security Disability Lawyer
July 5, 2022
If you suffer from a mental or physical impairment that you believe qualifies you for disability benefits, it’s in your best interest to contact a Social Security disability attorney in Cincinnati as soon as possible. Kapor Davis Law has successfully advocated for clients seeking Social Security disability benefits in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana since 1992.
What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability in Cincinnati?
While each person’s conditions are unique, an experienced Social Security disability attorney in Cincinnati can help determine if you meet the program’s guidelines. Both physical and mental impairments are eligible for benefits. Some of the listed disabilities may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Degenerative disc disease (back and neck)
- Degenerative joint disease (knees, ankles, hands, and wrists)
- Immune disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety
- Migraine and headaches
- Neurological disorders including seizures and neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Heart problems
- Chronic kidney disease
- Respiratory disease
- Blood disorders
- Visual Disorders
- Cancers and the residual effects of cancer treatments
When to Hire a Disability Attorney?
We are often asked by clients if, and when, they should hire an attorney. The answer is: IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU FILE YOUR APPLICATION. There are many reasons for this but here are just three very good reasons why it is best to hire an attorney before or immediately after you file your claim:
REVIEW OF CRITICAL FORMS FILLED OUT BY THE CLIENT. When an initial application is filed, the claim is sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Columbus, Frankfort, or Indianapolis, depending on the state where you reside (often referred to as the “State Agency”). The Disability Determination Services will then send you several different forms to complete. One is an Adult Disability Report and the other is a Work History Report. In Kentucky, the claimant may also receive a Pain Questionnaire and a Function Report – Adult. These forms are misleading and should be reviewed by an attorney before they are submitted. These forms do not address the “frequency, duration and intensity” of symptoms and limitations, all KEY factors cited in their own regulations but ignored in their own forms. The information on these forms is frequently used by the Disability Determination Services’ vocational and medical consultants to deny your claim. The DDS physicians they use to review this information, and your medical records, often render opinions outside of their specialty. Most physicians are older or have retired. Examples we have seen are a general family practitioner trained in Mexico and without any specialty whatsoever, reviewing orthopedic and neurological disorders; or a physician trained in urology doing pulmonary function testing and internal medicine examinations. By the time your claim gets to the hearing level or is scheduled for a hearing the information you provided is outdated and incomplete. You probably won’t remember receiving these forms, and you certainly won’t remember any of the answers you provided. Nevertheless, many administrative law judges will rely on the information you provided on these forms to deny your claim. Having an attorney review your responses before they are submitted will help to avoid this pitfall.
PREPARING FOR THE SSA CONSULTATIVE EXAMINATIONS. Often, following the initial application, the Disability Determination Services will send you out for one or more examinations and evaluations by a consultant physician or psychologist on their payroll. These exams are often cursory and almost NEVER helpful but nearly always relied upon to deny your claim. It is our policy to prepare the client in advance for such an examination, in an effort to protect them and minimize the damage these examinations can cause a claim.
OBTAINING SUPPORTIVE MEDICAL OPINIONS AND DISCREDITING THE SSA PHYSICIAN OPINIONS. By the time your claim reaches the hearing level, the only medical opinions in your claim file are the ones rendered by the State Agency consultants, which are generally unhelpful and already relied upon to deny your claim. Your claim would not be at the Reconsideration level if their opinions were at all supportive of your claim. Your own treating physicians may or may not have submitted all of your medical records. Your medical records usually do not contain important opinions about your functional limitations in a form that is useful in your claim, and acceptable under Social Security regulations. For example, a statement from your doctor that you are disabled, and therefore unable to work, is unacceptable and will always be ignored by the Social Security Administration. We create and provide appropriate forms for your doctor to complete addressing the specific limitations caused by your impairments. The questions on these forms are framed in a way that is useful and persuasive. These forms are often essential in obtaining a favorable decision and represent the only opinions contrary to State Agency opinions.
There are just of several additional reasons why you should retain the experienced attorneys at Kapor Davis just as soon as you file your application. Let us employ our proven strategy to win your claim.
Filing for and receiving disability benefits can be a lengthy and confusing process bound by strict deadlines. If you have been diagnosed with a debilitating physical or mental condition, you will want to file an initial application as soon as possible. Kapor Davis Social Security disability attorneys in Cincinnati offer free initial consultations.
The firm’s experienced professionals can evaluate your case and advise you on the steps required to successfully complete the process. Kapor Davis Law helps you navigate the complexities of the Social Security disability program by ensuring you’re aware of the following steps for the initial application:
- Scheduling medical evaluations
- Social Security Administration professional case review
- Judge’s written decision
Some individuals prefer to manage the initial application process on their own. However, pursuing benefits on your own is statistically unlikely to result in a favorable result. You can improve your chances of winning your case and streamline the process by working with an experienced disability attorney who can offer advice on how to determine and present persuasive evidence, such as:
- Alleged onset date of the condition
- Meeting the conditions of one of Social Security’s listed impairments
- Removing or addressing roadblocks and “red flags”
- Medical source opinions in terms that the Social Security Administration will understand
- Focusing on the relevant facts of your case
When you’re unable to work and without financial resources, time is of the essence. If you have attempted to manage the initial process on your own and have been denied, you will need an experienced ally like one of Kapor Davis’s Social Security disability attorneys in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The firm’s team can advise you on the most important steps and actions to follow during the appeals process.
5 Reasons to Speak to a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Free Initial Consultation: Whether you’re just beginning the application or need to file an appeal, the Social Security disability attorneys at Kapor Davis in Cincinnati provide a free initial consultation to evaluate your claim and advise you on the process moving forward.
Federal Cap on Attorney Fees: Federal law limits attorneys’ fees during the first two levels of the Social Security disability appeal, known as the reconsideration and hearing phases, respectively. Individuals can only be charged the lesser of 25% of the back pay amount or $6,000. If your case continues to the appeals council or federal hearing phases, you may incur additional fees; however, the total of all fees cannot exceed $6,000.
When and How You Pay Your Attorney: Fees are typically charged on a contingency basis, and the attorneys at Kapor Davis are only paid when they successfully complete your Social Security disability case.
Knowledgeable Attorneys Who Know the Social Security Disability Process: Kapor Davis Social Security disability attorneys are well versed in the requirements and process -from the initial application through to the federal court hearing. They can help you avoid the common technical errors that result in claim denial and delay in receiving much-needed benefits.
Expert Assistance with the Appeals Process: The Kapor Davis team assists you with managing the details of your case’s reconsideration and hearing levels of the appeal process by:
- Collecting and submitting relevant medical evidence
- Obtaining your doctor’s written opinion
- Drafting a thorough brief for the administrative law judge
- Providing access to vocational and medical experts who can attest to your inability to work
- Preparing you well in advance for the judge’s questions at the hearing
If your case moves into the appeals council and federal court hearing phases of appeals, your attorney can draft detailed legal arguments illustrating how Social Security wrongfully denied your claim.
Contact Kapor Davis for More Information
Whether you’re just beginning the Social Security disability claims process or you have been denied and require legal representation with an appeal, professional advice from an experienced attorney can save you valuable time and resources.
Social Security disability benefits are vital to your wellbeing when you are suffering from a physical and/or mental impairment and can no longer work or maintain a consistent source of income. In addition to managing life with a debilitating medical condition, you may be worried about providing food and other necessities for your family, like paying for utilities, or you could be facing foreclosure and homelessness. We understand that failing to get the application right the first time has dire consequences.
The firm’s attorneys and staff can help relieve the added stress that comes with completing the lengthy application form, contacting appropriate medical professionals, and gathering all necessary documentation and evidence to win the claim.
Contact Kapor Davis Law by calling (513) 721-2820 or completing an online form to arrange a free consultation about your Social Security disability options. Our team works in the best interests of its clients and wants to help you get the benefits you deserve. The firm’s disability attorneys represent individuals in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana.
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