Lafayette Social Security Disability Lawyer | Lafayette Disability Attorney | Lafayette SSD Lawyer | Lafayette SSDI Income
What does a Lafayette Social Security Attorney do?
In Lafayette, Louisiana, a variety of workplace accidents, road accidents, and other accidents caused by negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing create new Lafayette injuries and disability claims each day. When you have accidents or illnesses that render you unable to work, you may be entitled to Social Security benefits through the Social Security Administration. However, getting the SSA to award benefits is not as easy as some think. You have worked for years and contributed into a fund that is supposed to provide for you if you become disabled due to an illness or injury. The problem is that the very fund you contributed into has a system that sometimes seems insurmountable to wade through to get your disability benefits. Sometimes people are unsuccessful and sometimes it is clear that benefits will be awarded. Getting an experienced Lafayette Social Security lawyer on your side may make the difference between obtaining benefits and being denied. Additionally, Lafayette Social Security Attorneys can help you appeal if your claim for disability benefits has already been denied.
Why not take advantage of legal counsel on something so important as the disability benefits that will provide for you when you need it most?
Why do you need a Lafayette, LA Social Security Disability Lawyer Injury Lawyer?
First and foremost, you need an experienced Lafayette social security disability lawyer to explain the complicated laws embodied in the federal social security statute. We have provided that social security statute here; however, a lawyer will be able to do the best job of explaining how these provisions relate to you and your case. Lafayette social security lawyers are knowledgeable about all aspects of the social security system and can get you on track to receiving benefits as soon as possible.
Quality Medical Care
A local Lafayette social security attorney can help you in a variety of ways. In most cases where someone is disabled due to an illness or injury, they simply are unaware of all of the possible benefits available to them. Lafayette disability lawyers know most, if not all, of the free and low income health care programs available, and can direct you in the right area. Getting medical care, especially the right medical care, is not only necessary for your good health, but it is essential for a successful social security disability claim.
Evaluating Your Potential SSD & SSDI Claim for a Potential Lawsuit
Additionally, SSD & SSDI Lafayette attorneys are trained to detect if you may have personal injury claim. Too many times, a disabled person will try to represent themselves or, hire a social security "advocate" who is not actually a licensed Louisiana lawyer. The keen eyes of a trained attorney simply are much better trained to evaluate all aspects of your legal situation. Often, a person is injured and that injury is the basis of their disability. Those injuries may have been caused by a "third party" and further be the result of negligence or even a defective product. Clearly, anyone who is not a trained lawyer will be less capable of analyzing the situation, and you will be best served by retaining a licensed Lafayette lawyer who is experienced in Social Security work. If you do have such a claim, a lawyer may assist you personally or they may refer you to a competent personal injury lawyer in the Lafayette, Lafayette Parish area.
What does a Lafayette Social Security Disability Lawyer Charge?
Most lawyers charge an hourly rate plus a retainer fee. These types of lawyers perform what is called "billable hours" and charge you according to the amount of time they spend working on your case. If you are reading this website, however, you are likely suffering from a disability and there would be no way that you could afford to pay an SSD or SSDI lawyer an hourly fee. Luckily, you don't have to!
Federal law governs how much, when, and how a Lafayette SSD attorney gets compensated. In a nut shell, it is very similar to personal injury attorneys that regularly charge what is called a "contingency fee." The agreement between you and your Lafayette social security lawyer will set forth all the specifics, but for past benefits recovery, the statute reads like this:
Title 42 U.S.C. Chapter 7 Subchapter II § 406. Representation of claimants before Commissioner of Social Security
(a) Recognition of representatives; fees for representation before Commissioner of Social Security
(2) (A) In the case of a claim of entitlement to past-due benefits under this subchapter, if--
(i) an agreement between the claimant and another person regarding any fee to be recovered by such person to compensate such person for services with respect to the claim is presented in writing to the Commissioner of Social Security prior to the time of the Commissioner's determination regarding the claim,
(ii) the fee specified in the agreement does not exceed the lesser of--
(I) 25 percent of the total amount of such past-due benefits (as determined before any applicable reduction under section 1320a-6(a)of this title), or
(II) $4,000, and
(iii) the determination is favorable to the claimant
The availability of a contingency fee type agreement for a Social Security disability applicant is very helpful because, as a practical matter, it is hard for most injured persons to pay hourly rates for a lawyer, especially when they may be out of work due to their disability. Additionally, the contingency fee arrangement aligns your lawyer’s interests with yours, ensuring they work hard and efficiently to get you the disability benefits you deserve. One of the documents you will undoubtedly be asked to execute is the SSA Form 1696. DotCO has provided this form in PDF format for your review.
Where do Lafayette Social Security Lawyers File Your Case?
An experienced Lafayette Social Security claims lawyer will know exactly which office to file your claim in. The Social Security office nearest you may be easily located by going to the Social Security Administration Official Website and putting in your zip code to find the closest office to you. A few of the offices in Lafayette are:
United States Government
106 Corporate Boulevard
Lafayette, LA 70508
825 Kaliste Saloom Road 1-100
Lafayette, LA 70508
What Will Your Lafayette Social Security Disability Attorney Do if Your Claim is Denied?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability: the Disability Insurance program under Title II of the Social Security Act and the Supplemental Security Income program under Title XVI of the Act. Disability claims are initially processed through SSA field offices, like the Lafayette area locations listed above, and State disability determination services (DDS). DDS is responsible for developing medical evidence and making the initial determination on whether a claimant is legally disabled or blind. A person living in the Lafayette area who is initially denied benefits may request an appeal. The appeal consists of several levels of administrative review. The levels of review are:
- Reconsideration at the DDS and an administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing and Appeals Council review at Office of Disability Adjudication and Review’s (ODAR); and
- If an individual is still dissatisfied, the Lafayette SSD disabled applicant may request judicial review by filing an action in Federal court.
A study conducted by the Inspector General of the United States resulted in a report, dated August 20, 2010, which confirmed what Lafayette SSD lawyers knew all along, i.e., that some cases must be appealed to prevail. The report found that:
- The Claimant's age impacted disability determinations at both the DDS and hearing levels. According to this report and applying it to Lafayette, Louisiana, Lafayette residents that are 50 years or older were more apt to prevail over a Lafayette resident less than 50. This is true at both the initial hearing and at the appeal level;
- A determination of the claimant's ability to work resulted in differences at the DDS and hearing levels. This is odd because the standard and definition for whether you can return to work is the same at both levels. The report concluded that one explanation for this is, e.g., in Lafayette, is that the claimant is more likely to have a Lafayette Social Security lawyer and he/she may employ a vocational rehabilitationist to testify, or render a report, on the applicant's ability to return to work in the Lafayette area;
At the hearing level, the report found that Claimant representation was more prevalent in cases allowed than at the DDS level. To DotCO, this finding is significant because the report indicates that, in the cases that were studied, that SSD claimants were less apt to have a Social Security lawyer at the DDS level and the study said "claimant representation may have been beneficial to these claimants earlier in the disability process". The reasons they concluded this, when applied to Lafayette, are that a:
- Lafayette Social Security lawyer is more skilled at developing medical evidence;
- Lafayette Social Security lawyer is more likely to pre-screen a claimant and make a determination of whether the disabled person will receive a favorable decision or not;
- Lafayette Social Security lawyers are more skilled at detecting additional impairments, e.g., mental illness, than a claimant representing themself; and
- Lafayette Social Security lawyers help the claimant remain focused at the hearings.
- Cases were allowed at the hearing level based on a different impairment than that on which the DDS made its determination; and
- States had both DDS denial rates and hearing level allowance rates above the national averages.
The bottom line is that, more than likely, if you are denied, an appeal will be filed by your Lafayette Social Security disability claims attorney and you stand a better chance to prevail at this level. However, if you are considering retaining a Lafayette SSD attorney and you have not filed anything, the above would indicate that it is better to get a skilled Lafayette disability attorney involved earlier rather than later.
Lafayette SSD, SSDI, and Disability Attorneys are just a phone call away!
Serving clients thoughout Southern Louisiana, including Alexandria, Broussard, Cankton, Carencro, Duson, Lafayette, Larabee, Long Bridge, Maurice, Milton, Mire, Monroe, Morgan City, New Iberia, Scott, St. Martinville, Youngsville, and other communities in Lafayette Parish.
If you need an experienced Lafayette Social Security Attorney, call now for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.