Clients often come to our firm late in their decisions, sometimes even after a hearing or after being denied for years and not appealing those denials. Do you know why? Because they THINK they can not afford anyone to represent them. This is certainly not true! In many cases, you cannot afford to be unrepresented.
You do not have to have an attorney or representative to assist you, but generally this is in your best interest. When someone has a mental impairment, serious physical problems, lack of family and social support, the Social Security process can be very overwhelming, time consuming, draining on your mental focus, and confusing. Having a representative allows you to focus on your health while they can focus on getting you your benefits.
SSA has some interesting data on their site which shows that over half the people filing for disability get denied initially. All states now have a reconsideration stage, and that data shows the vast majority of those claims are also denied. Many people wait until they have a hearing before getting representation. This same data shows that at the hearing level more claims are allowed if the individual had representation.
Right now, you are looking at 6-10 months for an initial decision, 8-12 months for a reconsideration decision, then once a request for hearing is filed, it is usually 6-8 months before you have a hearing date before an Administrative Law Judge. During that time, our office works with SSA providing medical documentation, forms, and the necessary information to try and get your claim processed and approved without having to proceed with a hearing.
If you have filed for Social Security disability benefits you may have additional questions regarding filing your claim. Please call one of the experienced disability representatives at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specializes in helping the injured and disabled.