Social Security Disability
Doug has been representing people in Social Security disability cases for over 30 years. He understands that people who are unable to work anymore are often in pain, worried about how they will survive, and are in need of someone who will fight for them. As an experienced attorney, he also understands exactly what Social Security needs to see before they will approve a case.
If you become so disabled that (1) you are unable to work any full time job in the national economy, and (2) you have a documented injury or disease expected to last at least 12 months, then you may file for Social Security Disability Benefits. If approved, you will be entitled to receive:
- Monthly Disability Income Payments- based in how much you paid into the system, typically between $900-1800 per month, and
- MediCare Health Insurance Benefits- you will be eligible for Medicare 24 months from the date that you are found to be disabled.
70% Denial Rate
Social Security denies approximately 70% of all initial disability applications. This reality means that more often than not, any person that applies for disability will often be denied. The process is that you must either file an application online or make an appointment with your local Social Security office to file an application. The process is a lengthily and detailed process with many questions about your past medical history, including the name and address of any doctor or hospital you’ve been to in the past year, any medications you currently take, and what your current activities of daily living allow you to still do. Social Security will request your medical records, review them, and make a decision based on the evidence they have. Social Security may also send you to be evaluated by one of their own doctors or psychologists. You will usually get your decision letter in the mail about 4-5 months after you file your application. Hiring an experienced attorney to file your application may increase the chances of getting approved because your attorney can make sure that Social Security has what it would take to justify approving the case.
If Social Security denies you, then you may either file a new application or file an appeal. You will only have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to file an appeal. Appeals can be filed online. The first appeal is called reconsideration. Social Security will again request your medical records and have someone new review the denial. Usually reconsideration appeals are denied as well in about 3 months after filing the appeal. If denied reconsideration, then you must request a hearing before an administrative law judge. In California, it usually takes about 18 months to get a hearing from the date requested. As you can see, the entire appeals process runs nearly 2 years. This reality underscores how important it is that you hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney to help you from the beginning of the process.
Once you finally get your hearing scheduled, you will generally have 75 days to request your own medical records and any medical opinion statements from your own doctors to submit to the judge. The judge will often have vocational and medical experts at the hearing to testify. Unrepresented claimants are often at a severe disadvantage. An experienced attorney can help prepare you for this important process and make sure that the judge has all the evidence he needs to approve your case. Mr. Jaffe has over 30 years of winning Social Security Disability Hearings.
No Upfront Attorneys Fees
Attorneys’ fees are limited by statute under Social Security law to a maximum of 25% or $6,000 of any benefits awarded if the attorney is successful in getting your case approved. Mr. Jaffe charges no upfront fees and only accepts cases that he truly believes have merit.
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