Huntsville, AL Disability Lawyer
When people visit Rocket City, they are often enamored by how the community is both an embodiment of the South and a unique outlier that boasts innovation, technology and diversity. Huntsville is a special place, one that captures the imagination of so many Americans because of its rich history and distinctive status as a hub of science and invention.
Technology is a defining characteristic of Huntsville. Many residents work at or have connections to the military or aerospace sectors. Some of the most well-known employers in the area include NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Cummings Research Park, Redstone Arsenal, Cinram and ADTRAN. Over 50 Top Fortune 500 companies have locations in Huntsville.
Other hallmarks of Huntsville include the US Space & Rocket Center, the Twickenham and Old Town Historic Districts and the Huntsville International Airport. Hospitals include the Crestwood Medical Center and the Huntsville Hospital.
Huntsville is big enough to accommodate a wide-range of activities and lifestyles, but it is small enough to offer residents a shared experience. We are proud to be able to represent clients in Huntsville to help them navigate all stages of the Social Security Disability application process.
How We Assist Huntsville Residents
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a vital benefit that many people in Huntsville, Alabama, apply for. The SSDI program is intended to cover those who develop a disability that prevents them from working or from working in their previous type of employment. The program also covers disabilities for people injured on the job. As of 2015, SSDI was paying benefits to nearly 11 million people. But it is an unfortunate fact that many Alabamians who desperately need SSDI are denied benefits.
The eligibility determination process used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be very confusing and frustrating without the benefit of a Social Security disability attorney fighting for your rights. The administration may take as long as five months to process the initial claim. And most of these initial claims are denied.
Once you are denied, you must file an appeal, which takes several steps. At this point, many people simply give up. But it is worth going through the appeal process when you really need those benefits. This process is much easier and more successful when you retain an experienced Social Security disability attorney.
Overview of SSDI Filing Process
From 2001 to 2010, a mere 28% of SSDI initial applications were approved. After the appeals process, approximately 45% were ultimately approved. If your claim is denied, this is the appeals process to follow:
- Reconsideration: The initial step in the appeals process. A person who was not involved in the denial will review your claim. You do not need to be present for this hearing. Reconsiderations are denied in up to 85% of cases.
- Hearing: If you disagree with the result of the reconsideration, you may ask for a hearing. A judge will review your disability case and witnesses may be called. These could include doctors and occupational therapists to collect more information. You are not required to appear in most situations, but your SSDI attorney can cross-examine witnesses.
- Appeal: If you disagree with the judge’s ruling, you can request the Social Security Appeals Council to hear the case, but this council is under no obligation to review it.
- Federal action: If you disagree with the decision of the council, or the council will not hear your case, you can file a federal lawsuit. This is the final step, and few of these appeals are successful.
The ideal situation is to have your SSDI attorney get involved early on and win your case in the initial stages. Note that just 3% of claimants win after reconsideration.
Why SSDI Is Denied
It is common for SSDI benefits to be denied in Huntsville, Alabama, if the reviewer thinks that your disability is not severe and/or will not last for more than a year. From 1992 to 2010, the most common reason for SSDI denial was the administration believed the worker was able to adapt to another type of work.
To determine whether you are still able to work, the SSA will consider whether the injury makes your previous occupation impossible. If that is the case, the administration then will determine whether you can do another type of work. They will account for your education, age and past work experience in this process.
It is common for SSDI reviewers in the appeals process to disagree about whether you can work or not and in what type of job. There is no precise standard to determine this. Given that this is a gray area, you will benefit immensely from having a Huntsville, Alabama, Social Security disability attorney making strong legal arguments on your behalf.
How SSDI Attorneys Are Paid
Most people who need Social Security disability do not have the resources to pay expensive legal fees. That is why most SSDI attorneys work on a contingency basis. Your disability attorney will receive compensation only if he wins your case. The fee your attorney may charge is limited to 25% of the SSDI benefits you are awarded.
Denied SSDI? Contact a Huntsville Disability Lawyer Today
Social Security disability attorney John R. Colvin has helped people in Tennessee and Alabama get Social Security disability benefits for more than 20 years. We understand how being denied benefits when you cannot work can be financially devastating to you and your family. If you have questions about your SSDI case, please contact us at 1-931-962-1044, or submit a query on our online form. Put John R. Colvin’s experience to work on your SSDI case.