Time to get an attorney

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I was denied SSDI even though they acknowledged that I have a "severe impairment". They also said they made this determination from medical records from several sources, including my GP. However, my GP says she never got anything from them.

    So, Monday I get an attorney. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I was hoping.

  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, Heather.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I had to get an attorney to get my SSDI. I also had to go to the final stage of appearing before a judge via tele-link. I was, by this point, convinced I wouldn't get it, as was my attorney.

    I not only got SSDI, but I got a healthy settlement as well. Best of luck to you, heather.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It should go through without a problem from there. Unless you're blind, and unless you have an attorney first time through is usually a denial.

    The good news is that the attorney can only take 30% of your first disability check. So, the sooner you see one and get the papers filed, the less money goes to the attorney.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! My sister got approved about a year ago, and her atty. was only allowed to collect a maximum fee (in New York anyway) of something like $2500 bucks. She got over a years back pay as the award is based upon when you first filed for SSI. You are also lump sum awarded for the kids because they've been in your custody and were minors. difficult child would still benefit, but easy child would still be named in the back pay because he was still a minor when you applied.

    Find out the rules in your state before you engage an atty. It might not be that much.

    Rooting for you in NYC!

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Because it's a Federal program, rules are the same in all states. The attorney can take 30%.
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Witz! Hope all's well - I know that this guy kept blowing off her phone calls (simple questions) until he could answer a bunch at once and he explained that he can only get paid the max fee of (I can't swear to the exact amount) $2500. Could there have been a recent change? This was last year (Februaryish) but she'd applied 2 years before that - so she was entitled to quite a bit (2 underage kids) and all that the lawyer got was the max. that he told her he could charge.

    I'll be talking to her in the morning - I can ask her the specifics then. Now I'm curious...

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was reading a pamplet about consumer business or something the other day and thought about you. It had a brief article about some women having health problems that included symptoms similar to some of yours and having difficulty getting a correct cause/diagnosis and treatment. It might not apply to you at all but it said many times it was the thyroid and the resaon it isn't caught is because of the typical thyroid test given- there is another thyroid test that catches more specific problems or something. Then, they said if it is the thyroid, the typical treatment won't address those more specific problems, so it was a 2-part issue.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd relay it because I thought about you when I read it. I hope you can get something resolved to get your SSDI.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    nvts - I see what you are saying - max fee. Yes, that is right. But, if your benefit is only say, $1,000 a month and you're owed 3 months, 30% is only about $1,000. Generally, they only apply for you yourself, not for your kids. Once you get the benefits, SSA asks you about your kids. Then that benefit comes, so it's not part of the first check that the attorney gets a portion of.

    So, it's to the benefit of the attorney to not drag it out because his fee is limited to the max of $2,500.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Unless they have changed the max fee, it was 25% or $5200 whichever was less. I know mine came out to the $ 5200.

    Almost all adults have to get the lawyers unless they have very specific conditions such as being in the hospital and paralyzed. Those go through pretty quick.

    I had 4 of their top 6 disabling conditions and it still took me three years...lol.
  11. FB,

    The letter you received was a computer generated form letter; most applicants receive those letter at initial consideration. A good attorney will definitely be able to assist you, so you are on the correct path. I don't know about your area, but the Social Security Administrative Courts here have been kicked into high gear. They got a lot of bad press about the length of time it took to adjudicate cases, and new management was brought in. Many folks are now having their initial cases heard within six months to a year. It used to take up to four years, so that is a real improvement.

    Don't be too surprised if you do not win at your first hearing. A very large percentage of cases must go for appeal before they are approved - don't give up! This is SS's way of stalling and delaying. A number of folks just give up and don't appeal - some actually die while waiting - so this process actually saves the Feds lots and lots of $$$. If you find a good attorney (find someone who only does SS work) and you persist, you most likely will be awarded benefits.

  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I only had to reapply once when I got the attorney. One trick when filling out their forms is to put things in terms of your worst day. If you've ever been asked to or had to leave a job because your illness prevented you from being there reliably, (you're often in bed for a week without notice) that's HUGE. When you talk about having to sit, tell them like it is - you have to sit in the recliner with pillows propping you for comfortableness. You are not able to sit and do tasks.

    And if you have a FB account, take any identifying information off of it. You don't want them to see a photo of you when you're doing your best to look good for the camera!
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'll just make my FB account unsearchable. IOW, it won't come up in a search of my name. Everything else is already set to Friends Only.

    Valerie - thinks for that bit of good news. I was really bummed last night thinking it was now going to be years before we get anywhere....like Janet.

    Honestly, I don't care how much the attorney can take (I know there are limits). I just need the approval and get the monthly income coming. Desperately. I'm living on crumbs here.

    You know, I told my son and Linda the other night that I didn't work my ass off to get to where I was just to wind up here. It's not like I don't want to be able to work, which is what the letter makes it sound like. I know, I'm being oversensitive. Just a bit emotional. Tired. Just need to lick my wounds for a day, then start the fight again.

    Thanks, ladies.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I got so upset the first time I got my denial letter that I cried for days. I took it to heart and thought they were right. It actually said on the letter that while I was considerably disabled that I handled stress better than most people.


    I wish I had kept that letter and framed it. Most folks dont hit walls...lol.
  15. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    My sister's second rejection was based on a missing doctor's report. Get this: the missing report was from a guy that was watching the specialists practice while the specialist was on vacation for a week. Since he signed her chart, they wanted him to fill out paperwork. He had NO IDEA who she was...that's when she got an attorney!

    They do try to drag it out!

    Snuggle down with some Ben and Jerry's and relax!