If you case is approved and there are retroactive benefits, the fee is 25% of those or $6000, whichever is lower. There is no upfront cost whatsoever. If there are any out-of-pocket expenses (such as paying for medical records), those will be billed separately if your case is approved. Out-of-pocket expenses are capped at $400 and you only pay for those if your case is approved.
You can continue to work, but it has to be below what Social Security considers substantial gainful activity. For 2019, Social Security has defined that as $1220/month. If you earn that amount or more per month before deductions, that exceeds the amount that you can earn and still pursue disability benefits. If you have significant impairment-related work expenses, those can be deducted and considered when Social Security is determining whether your earnings exceed substantial gainful activity.
If you do work while waiting for a hearing date and earn over substantial gainful activity, Social Security may consider that to be an unsuccessful work attempt depending upon the amount of time that you were able to work at that level.
If your health prevented you from being able to do any work for at least 12 consecutive months but you have returned to full-time work for more than six months, we will try to get you approved for what is called a closed period of disability. .
Every case is different. The reality is that most people are denied at the initial and reconsideration levels. It typically takes approximately three to six months to receive the initial decision. It can take longer if Social Security sends you for a medical examination with one of their physicians. It usually does not take as long to receive a decision at the reconsideration level. After a denial at the reconsideration level, we file a request for a hearing. The wait time can be lengthy. Social Security is averaging approximately 18 to 24 months from the date a hearing request is filed until the hearing takes place.
If you receive an eviction notice, a foreclosure notice, a utility cut-off notice or are diagnosed with a terminal illness during the time that we are waiting for your hearing to be scheduled, please notify us immediately and we will request that your hearing be expedited.
First, you should be aware that the average judge approves only around 40% of the cases they hear. Some judges approve less than 10% of the cases they hear. My win rate averages 75% to 80% a year. For the last nine years, I've worked for companies that have contracts with insurance companies which require them (and me by default) to represent individuals all the way to the hearing level and beyond even if we knew they did not meet the requirements for Social Security Disability. The requirements to qualify for private disability insurance and Social Security Disability are very different.
The reason most cases advance to the hearing level is because they fall in that gray area where subjective factors such as pain, fatigue, or flare-ups of chronic conditions are why a person cannot work. It takes skill to make these cases winnable and I have a great deal of experience doing just that.
I do prefer to work with clients nearby so I can meet with them in person, but for the last ten plus years, I've represented disabled people throughout the United States. Most of my hearings have been in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia, but I’ve done them as far away as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and California.
No. You need an expert who is proven effective and has comprehensive knowledge of the complex Social Security Disability process. I am qualified and have well over a decade of experience working on claims at the initial, reconsideration, hearing and Appeals Council levels. You would only need to use an attorney if your case were denied by the Appeals Council and you needed to move on to Federal District Court. If that is the case, I can refer you to an excellent attorney who specializes in such cases and will provide a complimentary evaluation to my clients.
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