If you sustained an injury or an illness that prevents you from working in any capacity, then you might be eligible to assert a claim for Social Security disability benefits. In some instances, these disability benefits can be difficult to acquire. In fact, it is not unusual for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deny an initial disability benefits claim on the first go around. That is why you need a knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer in Atlanta by your side throughout your entire case.
An experienced Atlanta Social Security disability attorney from Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm could assist you with every aspect of your disability claim, beginning with the filing of your claim up through any appeal that you might need to file.
Social Security Disability Benefits Eligibility
For you to file a successful claim for Atlanta Social Security disability benefits, you must meet certain requirements. First of all, you must currently be suffering from a chronic, long-term injury or illness. A long-term injury could be one that you sustained while you were working at your job or during your employment. A long-term illness could be a chronic medical condition that keeps you from working.
In addition to suffering from a long-term illness or injury, the effects of the injury or illness must prevent you from working in any capacity. In other words, the injury or illness must prevent you from obtaining or being involved in any substantial gainful activity.
Meeting the necessary threshold to obtain Social Security disability benefits can be extremely difficult. Consequently, you need a knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits attorney in Atlanta on your side advocating for you. Your attorney can assist you with assembling the claim documents and making sure that everything is in order. Your attorney can also work to ensure that your claim package is complete and contains all of the necessary medical documentation and other information.
Defining a Substantial Gainful Activity
For a claimant to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, the injury or illness must prevent the claimant from partaking in any substantial gainful activity, known as an SGA. It has a very specific definition under the law. First of all, a court typically finds anyone who earns more than a specific amount per month to be engaging in a substantial gainful activity.
The amounts of these earnings per month that are considered a substantial gainful activity depend upon the type of disability from which the individual suffers. Under the Social Security Act, there are higher SGA amounts for individuals who are blind (currently $2,190 for individuals who are considered blind under the statute). There are lower SGA amounts, however, for individuals who do not suffer from blindness (currently $1,310 for individuals who are not blind under the statute).
Why Are Social Security Disability Claims Regularly Denied in Atlanta?
There are numerous reasons why a judge may deny a claim for Social Security disability benefits. One of the most common reasons for a disability benefits denial is that the claims package does not contain the necessary and pertinent medical documentation in support of your claim.
To be eligible for disability benefits, there must be medical documentation that supports that your long-term injury or illness prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity. Therefore, To be successful in your disability benefits case, you must have a healthcare provider on your side who is prepared to state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your injury or illness prevents you from working at any job in any capacity.
At other times, judges deny disability benefit claims simply because the information provided in the benefits package is incomplete, and the claim does not include all of the requested documents.
If a judge has denied your claim for Social Security disability benefits in Georgia, you may be eligible to file an appeal of that claim denial. An experienced SSDI attorney in Georgia can work to ensure that your disability benefits package is complete and that it contains all of the necessary and relevant medical documentation. If it becomes necessary to appeal your claim denial, your Georgia SSDI lawyer can assist you with filing the appeal and pursuing the benefits that you deserve.
What Is a Social Security Disability Appeal in Atlanta?
Being denied Social Security disability benefits on the first try is not unusual. In fact, it often takes more than one attempt for most individuals to finally secure the disability benefits that they deserve. In most instances, before filing a lawsuit against your insurance company, you will need to exhaust all administrative appeals that are offered by your insurance company. By law, insurance companies must allow you at least one opportunity at an administrative appeal, To secure benefits. However, some insurance companies allow more than one administrative appeal opportunity.
Whenever the insurance company denies your claim for Social Security disability benefits, it must send you a letter explaining the reason or reasons behind the denial of your claim. In the majority of cases, Social Security disability appeals receive denials because they do not contain the necessary documentation to prove that their injury or illness prevents them from working in any capacity.
If you are thinking about filing an administrative appeal of your Social Security disability benefits denial, you must follow all of the steps outlined in your denial letter. It is essential that you follow all of the time deadlines mentioned in the letter and that you include all of the relevant documentation that the letter requests. If you fail to follow the instructions and timelines in the insurance company’s benefits denial letter, it is almost certain that your claim for Social Security disability benefits will receive a denial a second time around.
If they denied your Social Security disability benefits claim for lack of sufficient medical documentation, you must supplement the record at the administrative appeal level. If your administrative appeal receives a denial and you have to appeal your claim to federal court, you cannot attach medical documentation at that juncture. By that time, your record will be closed.
Once the insurance company reviews the additional documents that you provide on appeal, it will determine your benefits eligibility. If the insurance company denies your claim again, you might have one more opportunity for an administrative appeal. However, if you have exhausted all of your administrative remedies, you could file a lawsuit against your insurance company in the federal court system.
Filing a lawsuit against your insurance company in federal court begins the litigation process. After your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf, the parties will typically engage in discovery. The discovery portion of the case allows each side to learn more about the other side’s version and exchange documentation. Once the matter is in federal court, a federal court judge will typically decide whether or not you should receive Social Security disability benefits.
An experienced SSDI lawyer in Georgia could assist you with filing an administrative appeal with your insurance company and providing the necessary medical documentation in support of your benefits claim. Once you have exhausted all of the administrative remedies provided by your insurance company, your attorney could also assist you with filing a lawsuit against the insurance company in the federal court system.
Are Atlanta Social Security Lawyers Free?
In most instances, individuals who apply for SSDI disability benefits cannot locate an attorney who will represent them for free, which is true even if the disability application goes through a local legal aid office. Under the majority of circumstances, lawyers who represent individuals in Social Security disability benefits claims operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that your lawyer can only recover compensation for their services if your lawyer wins the case.
The Social Security Administration must approve the contingency fees that a Social Security disability lawyer ultimately receives. Moreover, the contingency fee for which a Social Security disability attorney will be eligible has a cap of a certain amount.
Fees that ultimately go to the disability lawyer are not paid upfront at the beginning of the case. Rather, lawyers who assist you with your Social Security disability claim are eligible to recover up to 25 percent of your back pay (otherwise known as your retroactive benefits) or $6000, whichever of these amounts is lower. At the end of your case, the Social Security Administration will pay the fee to your lawyer directly from your back pay award. For the attorney to recover their compensation, the lawyer must submit a fee petition directly to the Social Security Administration. In addition, the Social Security Administration must approve the SSDI attorney’s fee petition.
If you are interested in pursuing a claim for Social Security disability benefits, an SSDI lawyer in Georgia can explain how the process works, as well as when and how they will collect the fee. Your lawyer can also assist you with all aspects of the claims filing process, including filing an appeal if that becomes necessary in your case.
How Can an Atlanta Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer Assist Me?
To find the best Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer for you, seek out an attorney who handles these types of claims regularly. Specifically, you want a lawyer on your side who routinely files disability claims as well as administrative appeals and federal court appeals.
Your lawyer could assist you by assembling all of the necessary documentation that you need to file with your claim, completing the claim paperwork, and filing the disability claim on your behalf. If a judge denies your claim on the first go-around, an SSDI lawyer can help you file an administrative appeal in your case. If that does not work and you have exhausted all of your administrative appeal remedies, your disability lawyer could file a lawsuit against the insurance company on your behalf in the federal court system, and if necessary, advocate for your interests in court.
You need a lawyer to help with Atlanta Social Security disability benefits to pursue and obtain the benefits that you should receive under federal law.
Why Is It Necessary to Have an Attorney on Board in Your Disability Benefits Claim?
Not having an SSDI attorney on board in your disability claim can be a very serious mistake. SSDI disability attorneys in Georgia understand the claims-filing process and the minute details that are often associated with filing a successful claim. A Social Security disability attorney also understands why claims receive denials and how and when individuals should file appeals in these cases.
If you do not have a Social Security disability lawyer by your side throughout the process, there is a good chance that a judge will deny your claim, at least the first time around. In addition, if you appeal a Social Security disability benefits denial on your own, your claim might receive another denial. Failing to supplement the record with additional documentation during the administrative appeal process is essential. If you do not supplement the record during that time, you cannot do so when and if the case ultimately reaches the federal court system.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Social Security Disability Attorney
Having an Atlanta Social Security Disability lawyer on board in your case ensures that you file the necessary documentation on time, increasing your chances of success. Moreover, if it becomes necessary to file an administrative appeal or a federal appeal in your case, a lawyer makes it more likely that you will ultimately recover the disability benefits you should receive.
An SSDI lawyer from Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can answer all of your questions and assist you with every step of the process. Contact us today or dial (404) 418-8244 for more information and a free case evaluation.