A disability lawyer is an attorney who specializes in helping people with disabilities obtain the government benefits they are entitled to. Disability lawyers help their clients navigate the complex web of laws and regulations governing disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Disability lawyers also represent clients in appeals of denied disability benefits claims. In some cases, disability lawyers may also represent clients in lawsuits against the government or private companies for discrimination based on disability.
If you are seeking disability benefits, or if your claim has been denied, it is important to consult with a qualified disability lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible chance of success in obtaining the benefits you are entitled to.
What are Disability Benefits?
Disability benefits are payments made by the government to people who are unable to work because of a physical or mental disability. The two main programs that provide disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that provides benefits to workers who have become disabled and are unable to work. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, workers must have paid into the Social Security system through their payroll taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program that provides benefits to disabled people who have low incomes and few resources. Unlike SSDI, there is no work history requirement for SSI eligibility.
Both SSDI and SSI benefits are intended to provide financial assistance to disabled people who are unable to work. However, the eligibility requirements and benefit amounts differ between the two programs.
How Does the Disability Benefits Process Work?
The process for obtaining disability benefits can be complex and confusing. The first step is to file a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA will then review the claim to determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for benefits.
If the SSA denies the claim, the applicant can file an appeal. The appeals process can be difficult, and it is important to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side to help you navigate it.
How a Disability Lawyer Can Help
A disability lawyer can help you through every step of the disability benefits process, from filing your initial claim to appealing a denial. A disability lawyer will also be familiar with the laws and regulations governing disability benefits, and can help you understand your rights and options.
In addition, many disability lawyers understand their clients are facing financial difficulty, and will work on a contingency basis. Working on contingency means that the lawyer will only charge a fee if you are successful in obtaining benefits.
Disability lawyers can help with the following:
- Filing an initial claim for disability benefits
- Appealing a denial of benefits
- Navigating the appeals process
- Representing clients in lawsuits for discrimination based on disability
Choosing the Best Disability Lawyer for You
When choosing a disability lawyer, it is important to find someone who has experience with the specific type of benefit you are seeking, as well as knowledge in other government policies. For instance, the disability lawyers at J. Price McNamara have experience with disability and ERISA lawsuits.
You should also consider the lawyer’s fee structure. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, while others charge an hourly rate. Contingency fees are only charged if you are successful in obtaining benefits, so this may be the best option if you are facing financial difficulty. If you are seeking disability benefits, or if your claim has been denied, get help from a disability lawyer as soon as possible.