Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is an important safety net for workers, providing monthly cash benefits to those who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. But filing can be complex, and the initial claim often results in a denial. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone.

We have thirty years’ experience in helping our fellow Mainers through the complex Social Security Disability application and appeals process, and would love to use our experience to help you with your claim. If you also have a Workers’ Compensation claim, we can assist you in managing both claims so that you can pursue them simultaneously.

Frequently Asked

Questions

What are the fees to hire an attorney for an SSDI claim?

The initial consultation is free, and there are no attorney’s fees owed by you unless you win your case. If we do win, Social Security allows attorneys to only charge 25% of past-due benefits up to a maximum of $6,000.

What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?
There are certain benchmarks that you need to meet in order to qualify for SSDI. First, you must have worked long enough to have earned enough credits to qualify. And your disability must have started before the date you last had enough credits to qualify for disability (date last insured). If you do not have enough credits for SSDI, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, if you meet certain income and asset qualifications. Your disabled child may also have an SSI claim.
What should I know before applying for SSDI?
  1. Apply as soon as possible. Get a protective filing date from Social Security as soon as you can in order to protect your rights.
  2. A lawyer is a must for an appeal, but also extremely helpful for your initial application. Often, people wait until they are denied on their applicaiton to bring a lawyer onto their team, but we’d encourage you not to wait. We are willing to assist you with applying for benefits so we can work together to develop a winning strategy.
  3. Be prepared to wait. The time between your application and a decision by Social Security can be quite long. We will discuss with you the amount of money you can earn per month and still be eligible for SSDI benefits.
  4. Expect an exam. Social Security may schedule you for a medical examination or psychological examination with a doctor they have chosen and we will discuss with you what to expect at the exam.
What should you do if your claim is denied?
First of all, don’t give up. Most people are denied on their initial application for SSDI or SSI benefits, and many are successful on appeal of a denial. Make an appointment with us as soon as you receive your denial in the mail in order to discuss your rights. Second, don’t wait. You will have sixty (60) days after you have received the denial to file an appeal with Social Security. The first appeal of a denial on your application is a Request for Reconsideration.
What happens if your Request for Reconsideration is denied?
If you choose to represent yourself through the Request for Reconsideration process and are denied, you should come to us to represent you on your next appeal step, which is to Request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). As your attorney, we will:
  • File the Request for Hearing and required forms on your behalf
  • Make sure there are no missing documents. We will review the documents that Social Security has in its electronic records express (ERE) to ensure that’s the case. Many times, Social Security does not collect all of the necessary documents concerning your case. If there are missing documents, we will discuss them with you, collect them on your behalf, and file them electronically with Social Security.
  • Discuss with you whether the best strategy is to request a hearing in person with the ALJ or via video teleconference
  • Work closely with you during the hearing process to collect and file with Social Security the medical records, psychological records, education records, and employment records necessary for a successful outcome.
  • Send applicable questionnaires to your treating doctors asking their medical and psychological opinions concerning your disability
  • Discuss the hearing with you and prepare you for the issues to be decided by the ALJ and the information you need to provide the ALJ in order to win your case.
  • File an Appeal Brief with the ALJ on your behalf prior to the hearing supplying the ALJ with a written argument concerning why we believe you should win your case.
What happens after the hearing?
If your appeal is successful, you will begin to receive your monthly disability benefit, which will be based upon your earnings history. In SSI cases, your benefits are retroactive to the first month after the month in which you applied. In SSDI cases, your benefits are generally retroactive to your disability onset date; however, the earliest date you can receive benefits is twelve (12) months before your application date. We also represent Claimants before the Social Security Appeals Council and in Federal Court.

Contact our office to discuss your SSDI or SSI claim.
The initial consultation is free, and we’re only paid if you win.

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