About two-thirds of all SSD applications are denied by the US government at the initial application stage. For some people, this statistically high rate of denial is motive enough to hire an experienced attorney to assist with their disability claim. Others may be hesitant to seek legal assistance, but there is no doubt that hiring an attorney can be beneficial.
Disability claims often involve lengthy processing times. If you hire an attorney at the very start of your claim, your attorney can help you file and get your initial application approved. This can benefit you by avoiding the appeal process altogether. However, if you decide to apply on your own and get denied, you can also retain an attorney to help you with a successful appeal.
Attorneys are especially advantageous during the appeal process. History shows that experienced attorneys are much more likely to prevail in a disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge than a claimant without representation. There are several reasons:
- Attorneys understand disability impairment listing criteria;
- are familiar with vocational guidelines;
- understand the significance of past work history;
- are skilled in documenting the inability of the claimant to perform other types of work.
SSD attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and receive fees from the claimant’s retroactive benefits. Attorneys are not awarded any fee until your application is approved. The fee is limited to 25 percent of the past due benefits you are awarded, with a maximum of $6,000. An attorney receives their fee from the first payment(s) you receive after your application is approved.
Be aware, there are plenty of “non-attorney representatives” out there who promote that they can assist you in filing your initial application for SS benefits or in appealing a denial. When deciding where to seek help for your disability claim, do the necessary research to ensure that you are hiring a licensed attorney vs. a non-attorney. There is no financial advantage to hiring a non-attorney representative; Social Security Administration regulations specify that the fee for all professional representatives are the same. Yet, the quality of representation you will get with a real attorney may far exceed what’s provided by someone who is not.
Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Attorneys
At Metzger Wickersham, we can help you streamline the process to obtain your SSD benefits. Our disability lawyers have used our knowledge and experience to help thousands of clients just like you. Contact us today to find out how we can assist. We have offices located in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, Shippensburg, Wilkes-Barre and York, allowing us to conveniently serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.