Steps to Finding The Best SSDI Representative
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Steps to Finding The Best SSDI Representative

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Many people are familiar with Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. Few, however, fully understand the eligibility rules and how to navigate the complex application process.

Many people are familiar with Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. Few, however, fully understand the eligibility rules and how to navigate the complex application process.

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Steps to Finding The Best SSDI Representative Steps to Finding The Best SSDI Representative Presentation Transcript

  • Steps to Finding The Best SSDI Representative Presented by Allsup
  • The Role of An SSDI Representative
    • Many people are familiar with Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI . Few, however, fully understand the eligibility rules and how to navigate the complex application process.
    • During the past half-century, there have been many changes in the Social Security disability program , as well as changes in the economy, medicine, rehabilitative technology, attitudes about disabilities and the disabled.
    • A professional SSDI representative helps you cut through the red tape.
    • By hiring an SSDI representative, applicants can get through the disability process faster and with much less frustration.
  • Finding the Best SSDI Representative: Do I Qualify For SSDI?
    • Before you seek out an SSDI representative, you should first have an idea about whether or not you even qualify for benefits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are eligible for SSDI if you:
    • Have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity;
    • Have a condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death;
    • Are between age 21 and 65; and
    • Have worked five out of the last 10 years as of the determined date of onset of disability.
    View slide
  • The SSA Uses The Following 5-Step Process to Review Each Application #1: Are You Working? If you are disabled but still working and your average earnings equal more than $980 per month (for 2009), then the SSA may not consider you disabled. View slide
  • The SSA Uses The Following 5-Step Process to Review Each Application #2: Is your medical condition severe? Part of determining your eligibility is based upon how significantly your medical condition limits your ability to complete basic tasks such as sitting, standing, walking and remembering.
  • The SSA Uses The Following 5-Step Process to Review Each Application #3: Is your medical condition on the list of impairments? According to the SSA , the list of impairments involves any medical condition that is severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity.
  • The SSA Uses The Following 5-Step Process to Review Each Application #4: Can you do the work you did before? If you are able to do the same type of work that you were able to do prior to your disability, then the SSA will likely determine that you are not disabled.
  • The SSA Uses The Following 5-Step Process to Review Each Application #5: Can you do any other type of work? If you are unable to do the same type of work that you did in the past, then the SSA examines types of jobs or positions you could possibly hold based on criteria such as your age, education and past work experience.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative
    • Consider asking the following questions when searching for a qualified SSDI representative to help guide you through the SSDI eligibility process:
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #1: What are your options if you hire representation? Typically, there are two categories of SSDI representatives: (1) specialized organizations with multiple representatives and specialists experienced in handling SSDI claims across the country; and (2) law firms that may or may not have attorneys solely dedicated to SSDI claims.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #2: How knowledgeable and experienced is the organization in representing individuals applying for SSDI? Look for a representative who specializes in SSDI and understands the complexities and nuances of the process.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #3: Will the organization help you file the initial application for SSDI? The myth that you cannot have a representative help you file your initial application may stem from the fact that many attorneys only accept SSDI clients after their initial applications are denied. Finding help at the beginning can improve your chances of getting approved earlier and potentially cost you less in representative fees as a result.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #4: What specific activities will the representative undertake on your behalf? It’s important to choose a representative who consistently works the claim on your behalf throughout the process and removes the burden from you.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #5: Does the organization have experience representing someone with your disability? Not all disabilities are alike—the SSA has specific Disability Impairment Criteria for hundreds of specific conditions, from back injuries and arthritis, to fibromyalgia to strokes.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #6: How does the organization – and who within the organization – will keep you informed on the progress of your claim? Disability applicants should ensure that the representation organization they choose will keep them regularly updated on the progress of their application, including timely notices of deadlines, documents required or scheduled hearings.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #7: Will you have to attend any hearings? Approximately one-quarter of SSDI cases proceed to the hearing level before an administrative law judge. However, this might not be necessary if the representative asks for and receives an “on-the-record” decision. This occurs when the judge makes a decision based on a review of information in the file. Going through the extra effort of creating solid briefs needed to gain on-the-record decisions is a sound representation practice to help alleviate concerns and accelerate a decision, meaning you receive your benefits faster.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #8: What is the organization’s success rate? No organization has a perfect track record, but you should look for a representative with a high success rate in gaining SSDI benefits for its clients.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #9: How much faster can the organization help you win your award? There is no guaranteed timeline. External factors, including the SSA’s workload and the growing disability claim backlog, can affect the timing. But a representative should know on average how long it takes their clients to get through the various stages of the SSDI process.
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing An SSDI Representative #10: What does it cost? The SSA determines the maximum fee that any organization can charge for SSDI representation. Currently, it is 25% of the retroactive dollar amount awarded, not to exceed $6,000. Those who are approved quickly at the application level and receive no retroactive award typically pay much less and that fee is approved by the SSA. You should not pay a fee if you don’t receive an SSDI award.
  • Presented by Allsup
    • Allsup is a leading private, non-attorney, nationwide provider of Social Security disability representation services. Allsup professionals help people receive their SSDI benefits .
    • As a part of this service, Allsup experts provide individuals with a free Social Security disability evaluation to determine their eligibility for SSDI benefits. Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and workers’ compensation services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers.