If you’re reading this post, chances are that you or someone you love is unable to work due to an injury, illness or other medical condition. The Social Security Administration’s disability insurance and supplemental security income programs pay monthly benefits to people who become disabled before they reach retirement age.
While the program has helped nearly nine million disabled people in the U.S. sustain their livelihoods, disability benefits can be difficult to come by. Why? Most disability claims are denied during the initial review, and even fewer are approved during the reconsideration phase. Claims are most likely to be approved alongside an experienced disability lawyer at a hearing before an administrative law judge. This blog will detail what to expect at a disability hearing, and how you can win your case.
Social Security Disability Lawyer
Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.’s Social Security Disability team can help you secure needed benefits to support yourself. Chellsie Weber, our wildly successful and experienced disability attorney, and Abby Reid, our wonderful and thorough disability paralegal, can offer support and advice as it pertains to your disability and the benefits approval process. Remember, you’re more likely to have a successful disability claim with an attorney by your side. Call us today at 402-991-2100. You also can share your story here.
Nebraska Disability Statistics
In Nebraska, the odds of having Disability Determination Services (DDS) approve your claim is slightly greater than the national average. About 41% of disability claims are approved in the state during the initial review, compared to 35% nationwide. After the claim is denied, you can file an appeal or “request for reconsideration”. If you don’t have an attorney at this stage in the process, it’s time to hire one.
After the reconsideration stage the next level of appeal is the hearing level, where your odds are greater for success. About 49% of Nebraska disability claims are approved at the hearing level. Nationwide, it takes an average of 18 months to get a hearing date after filing an appeal and asking for a hearing. In Nebraska, the average wait is 13 months.
What Happens At A Disability Hearing
When your hearing date arrives, be sure to reach the hearing location early. If you are late, your claim may be dismissed–you would have to start the claims process over from the beginning. Your disability attorney will represent your interests at the hearing, just like a lawyer represents their clients in any other legal matter. Most administrative law judges question the disability claimant to determine if they are unable to earn a living on their own.
Questions will also revolve around your medical condition(s) as well as your treatment, your prognosis, how your disability affects you, your limitations imposed by the disability, and your past employment, skills, and educational background. Medical records come into play here. The hearing is not you versus them; the judge simply needs a clear picture of your disability and how it affects your life from day to day.
Your attorney will help you prepare for the questioning aspect of the hearing, and it is imperative that you answer the questions honestly. Do not exaggerate and be sure to answer everything in detail. You will need to provide specific details about how your medical issues affect your ability to work and perform daily tasks.
Bottom line: If you want to win your disability claim, call a lawyer. You pay nothing unless your claim is approved.
Seek Help From Disability Lawyer
If you are disabled because of a medical condition and you are ready to file for Social Security Disability benefits in Nebraska, call the offices of Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. An experienced disability attorney will review the details of your claim and help you maneuver the claims process.
About Watson & Carroll
Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case, or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld.