Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability benefits are payable for those who have been disabled for over one year, or whose disability is expected to last longer than one year or to result in death. If you have been denied benefits, do not give up. Contact our offices by calling us or completing the "Contact Us" form.
QUESTION: Is it possible to obtain Social Security disability benefits without hiring an attorney?
ANSWER: Yes. Many claimants are successful on initial application. For this reason my office does not accept Social Security cases until after there has been an initial denial of benefits by Social Security.
QUESTION: How much is your fee?
ANSWER: Usually the fee is 25% of back benefits or $5,300, whichever is less. The fee is contingent upon obtaining social security benefits for you and must be approved by Social Security. Examples of fee computations: Assume you are awarded $30,000 in back benefits, then the fee is $5,300 (25% of 30,000 is greater than 5,300, so the fee is limited to $5,300). Assume $16,000 in back benefits, then the fee is $4,000 (25% of back benefits).
QUESTION: How long does it take?
ANSWER: Approximately 18 months.
QUESTION: Why does it take so long?
ANSWER: Reasons vary from case to case. However, typically the case is not decided until you have had a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. In western New York there is a backlog of cases, resulting in delays in getting a hearing. However, be aware of the fact that delay sometimes works to the advantage of the claimant. As time goes by more medical information is generated by medical treatment and evaluation. Additionally the claimant may have surgeries and other procedures during the wait time. These procedures may demonstrate the severity of the claimant's condition and/or the sincerity of the claimant's complaints. Simply put, submitting to major surgery may indicate both the claimant's complaints of pain and the severity of his condition.