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Tue May 24, 2016, 12:01 PM

Disability question

Do you really need an attorney to fill out the forms for SS Disability? I know they are complicated but I think I can do it, I am doing this for a friend. I don't want her to have to give any of her SS to some low life attorney.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Disability question (Original post)
redstatebluegirl May 2016 OP
leftofcool May 2016 #1
missingthebigdog May 2016 #2
redstatebluegirl May 2016 #7
elleng May 2016 #8
missingthebigdog May 2016 #9
redstatebluegirl May 2016 #10
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #3
Runningdawg May 2016 #4
djean111 May 2016 #5
Hoyt May 2016 #6
2naSalit Apr 2017 #16
Downwinder May 2016 #11
LeftofObama May 2016 #12
redstatebluegirl May 2016 #13
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2016 #14
Victor_c3 Dec 2016 #15

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:14 PM

1. If you don't get an attorney to go to bat for you, you will get turned down.

If you have an attorney the chances are good you will get the SSDI the first time.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:15 PM

2. Advice from a "low life" attorney:

If this is her initial application, she can fill out the forms herself and submit them. Most attorneys around here will not take a case until the initial denial has been received. Once she receives a denial (the majority of claims are denied on first application), she will do better with an attorney than she would without one.

If she does get an attorney, he or she will take the case on a contingency basis, usually for a percentage of her back pay award. There is an obvious incentive there to drag things out- the longer the case takes, the more the back pay award will be. She needs to choose her representation with that in mind. . . .

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Response to missingthebigdog (Reply #2)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:35 PM

7. I apologize but I've had bad luck with lawyers in the past few years.

No offense, I should choose my words more carefully. My friend was in a serious accident, she is a single mom so I am trying to help as much as I can since she doesn't have a lot of family. I think I have everything I need to fill out the forms the first time and submit them.

I will begin to search for an attorney here in Oklahoma that will take her case if she is denied, which everyone says she will be the first time. She had a serious head injury, still very slow in communication. The doctors don't think she will ever return to her job in teaching.

I'm not sure what questions to ask when I call a lawyer to make sure I get a good one any suggestions?

Once again, sorry for the comment about lawyers.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #7)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:49 PM

8. 'Experience' would be the first question I'd ask,

how much experience does the attorney candidate have, in this particular type of matter.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #7)

Tue May 24, 2016, 01:05 PM

9. It's okay. We are used to it. And we have thick skin, lol.

When she is ready for an attorney, she needs to interview several. Ask a lot of questions. Check their reviews on social media and Avvo. She needs someone she is comfortable with, and who understands her situation, and who knows the ins and outs of the local system.

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Response to missingthebigdog (Reply #9)

Tue May 24, 2016, 01:09 PM

10. Thanks, I think it will be me asking the questions.

She gave me power of attorney a few years ago just in case something happened, I never imagined I'd be using it...

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:16 PM

3. No.

 

You do not need an attorney.

Be sure to have all records in order. Especially detailed medical reports. Very important.

PM me if you need more info.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:18 PM

4. You didn't say what state you were in

I think that might have some bearing on the process.

I can tell you here in OK it takes one or two lawyers, more doctors and about 3 years to be approved.
Once approved you start getting paid within the first 6 months, but the first 3-4 payments go directly to the lawyers and doctors. so you can count on seeing your money nearly 4 years after you start the process.
My friend S was an energetic man in his 50's when he suffered an enormous heart attack while behind the wheel. Doctors were amazed that either one didn't kill him. His first stay in the hospital after open heart surgery and numerous other surgeries to treat the injuries from the car wreck was around 30 days. His second stay because he had massive infections was longer. When the infection got to his sternum it turned to mush. They replace his sternum with titanium plates and screws. Then his kidneys failed, then his lungs collapsed, then another heart attack.....
After filing on his own the first 2 times, he got a lawyer, the lawyer filed 3 times an on the last he was granted disability.
His original injury was in the fall of 2011. He received his first disability payment in October of 2015.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:19 PM

5. My son applied for disability himself. The first application is almost always turned down.

 

The reason for his denial? Because his getting to the doctor who verified his debilitating PTSD and panic attacks meant he could too leave the house. The only reason he went outside and to the doctor was because that was the only way to get the meds that helped with his powerful and frightening temper. We had to pay cash. Cash price for a month of his meds, at most pharmacies, was anywhere from $1100 to $1400. Costco saved our lives, almost literally.

So, we asked around, and found a law firm that specializes in this. Application was approved in a couple of months. The lawyer only gets a percentage of the money owed from the date of the first application to date of approval. The lawyers know what the clerks and the judges are looking for. We would still be desperately buying a week or so of meds at a time, and still be scared all the time, if we had kept slogging along, trying to do this on our own.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:20 PM

6. Here is one website that appears to have good info.

Last edited Tue May 24, 2016, 06:52 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/question16.html

The "low life" attorney above sounds like he/she knows what they are talking about, and sounds honest too.

As I've learned from similar situations: 75% of something, is better than 100% of nothing.

Good luck.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 28, 2017, 10:55 AM

16. That site includes

a link to advice in selecting a good attorney and what to look for.

Thanks for that, I'm getting ready to go to town and have nerve damage testing on my cervical spine in order to resubmit my claim today.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 01:33 PM

11. No.

I let the social Security people fill out the forms while I fell out of the chair at their desk. I don't really know what my care giver told them as I was not really cognizant at the time. They shuttled me around to three different Doctors and I got approved.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 02:02 PM

12. Make sure you print the first disability application before you submit it,

They will send you more forms with the exact same questions you will need to answer again.

Make copies and save everything! After your first denial letter make an appointment and take all of the paperwork to the attorney's office. They'll take it from there.

I applied in November, 2010, got denied, got an attorney, got approved by September, 2011. Less than a year.

Edit: Make sure you apply as soon as possible because you have to wait two years after approval to be eligible for Medicare. Medicare is literally a life saver!

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #12)

Tue May 24, 2016, 02:10 PM

13. Thank you! Medicare would be a lifesaver for her for sure! She is on Cobre right now.

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 12, 2016, 07:31 PM

14. I agree with this

I would add that if you're disabled due to mental illness, that you go ahead and see if you can find a lawyer who specializes in that type of claim. The questions they ask on the first application and follow up paperwork don't really ask the best questions to describe mental illness.

Remember, an attorney can only get a percentage of your back pay, should you get any. If you don't get back pay, you don't owe them anything.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 04:39 AM

15. I didn't have an attorney and I was approved on my first try

I believe it all comes down to documentation.

I'm receiving SSDI for a psychiatric issue and I was able to provide lots of very detailed documentation of the initial stressor event that caused my PTSD and the impact on my ability to function independently and in a work environment.

I had reams of documents from hospitalizations, documentation citing deficiencies at work, etcetera.

I found that when I tried to submit paperwork via mail that it never got to them. I live 10 minutes from my SSA office and I'd just show up in person and submitted my paperwork that way. I showed up enough that some of the staff started to recognize me.

If you are dealing with a psych issue, I might be able to give you some ideas or pointers of the sorts of things to submit. You really have to build a solid case with documentation.

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