The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two disability programs for individuals who cannot work because of an impairment. If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, you may want to consider hiring a disability attorney in Utah to assist you with the application process. Below is a list of things to bring to your first meeting to help your attorney evaluate your case.
9 Things to Bring to Your First Meeting with a Disability Attorney in Utah
- Education and Work History
- Medical Records
- Contact Information for Medical Providers
- List of Medications and Ongoing Medical Treatment
- Record of Income Earned from Other Sources
- Description of Physical Limitations
- Names and Contact Information for Potential Witnesses
- Application, Denial Letters, and Correspondence from Social Security Administration
- Questions for Disability Attorney in Utah
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs provide income to help disabled individuals pay necessary living expenses. However, the application and approval process for disability benefits can be overwhelming and complex. A disability attorney in Utah can help you avoid mistakes and errors that can result in unnecessary delays and denials of benefits. Let’s review in detail the list of things that you should bring to your first appointment with a disability attorney in Utah.
What should I bring to my first appointment with a Utah Social Security disability attorney?
We understand that you may not be able to gather all of this information before your first visit with one of our Social Security disability lawyers. However, it can be very beneficial to have as much of this information as possible for your first meeting to discuss your disability claim in detail. It can also make completing your Social Security disability application easier since you need this information to complete the SSDI and SSI forms.
1. Education, Training, and Work History
Your education, training, and work history are important factors in your application for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned the required number of work credits based on several factors, including your current age and your recent work history. Our Social Security disability attorney calculates the number of work credits required for Social Security Disability Insurance and determines whether it appears if you met that requirement based on your work history.
If you received workers’ compensation benefits, please also note that on your work history. The information used to file a workers’ compensation claim might also be useful when evaluating a disability case.
Education and training can also be important factors in determining whether you are able to perform any substantial gainful activity (work) to qualify for either SSDI or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). With your work history, try to list the dates worked with each employer, your title, a description of your work duties, and why you were terminated or left the employer.
2. Medical Records
Another important requirement for disability benefits is whether you meet the disability definition provided by the Social Security Administration or SSA. The SSA has a strict disability definition. Disability is defined as being unable to work because of a medically determinable impairment (either a mental impairment or physical impairment) that may cause your death or is anticipated to persist for one continuous year or longer.
Therefore, you must have medical records to prove that a mental or physical impairment prevents you from earning a minimum living wage. It is important to remember that you might qualify for SSDI or SSI disability benefits even though you can perform some tasks. The key is to establish that you cannot perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is typically defined by earning a minimum income per month.
Bring your copies of all medical records with you to your first appointment with a disability attorney in Utah. These medical records can be very helpful in evaluating your disability claim and determining if the details of your disability meet the requirements of the SSA Blue Book (List of Impairments).
If you do not have all your medical records, do not worry. Our disability lawyer can request copies of medical records after you hire our law firm to handle your disability case.
3. Contact Information for Medical Providers
In addition to the copies of medical records, generate a list of all medical providers who have treated you since you became disabled or developed the physical or mental impairment that prevents you from working. You are asked to provide a list of medical providers on your disability application. You will need the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of treatment for each health care provider.
4. List of Medications and Ongoing Medical Treatment
You must also provide a list of medications and a description of any ongoing medical treatment you are receiving for your physical or mental disability. It can be helpful to list the date you began taking each medication, and the date you began receiving medical treatment. A short description of why you are taking the medication or receiving medical treatment can help your disability attorney in Utah evaluate your claim more efficiently.
5. Record of Income Earned from Other Sources
If you earned any income from sources other than employment, such as workers’ compensation benefits, pensions, retirement, trust funds, or other government programs, we need to know about that income too. You must report all earned income in your SSA disability application.
6. Description of Physical Limitations
You are also required to describe your physical limitations when you apply for disability benefits. Describing your physical limitations helps the SSA determine whether you can engage in a substantial gainful activity (work). When you describe your physical limitations, it can be helpful to list activities that you cannot perform or have trouble performing that involving caring for yourself, your family members, or your household. Be as specific as possible to help your disability attorney in Utah develop an adequate description of your impairments and limitations for your Supplemental Security Income application or your Social Security Disability Insurance application.
7. Names and Contact Information for Potential Witnesses
In some cases, family members may be allowed to provide statements regarding your physical or mental limitations. Create a list of family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and others who might be able to describe how your disability prevents you from caring for yourself or working. Try to add a short description for each person explaining what that person might be able to tell the SSA about your impairment and limitations.
8. Application, Denial Letters, and Correspondence from Social Security Administration
Some individuals contact a disability attorney in Utah after they have filed their initial disability application, received a disability denial letter, or need to appear before an administrative law judge. Make sure to bring copies of any applications, forms, and correspondence you have filed or received regarding your SSDI or SSI disability claim.
9. Questions for Disability Attorney in Utah
We understand that you probably have several questions about Social Security disability benefits. Our Utah Social Security disability attorney is happy to answer your questions about the SSDI or SSI claims process. Because we will review a great deal of information during your initial consultation, it can be helpful to write down questions you want to ask a disability attorney in Utah before that first meeting. We can address your questions about a disability claim, the attorney-client relationship, disability law, an initial claim, a disability appeal, and general disability determination.
Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Go It Alone?
When you are applying for Social Security Disability, it can be helpful to work with a disability attorney in Utah. A disability attorney in Utah can help you if you have questions about whether you need a specific medical record, how to prepare the SSDI or SSI disability application, and whether certain resources or property count toward eligibility requirements for low-income individuals. If you are notified that your Social Security disability claim has been denied, a disability attorney in Utah can advise you when to file a Social Security Appeal Form.
A disability lawyer can also explain the appeals process after you are notified by the SSA that you were denied Social Security Disability benefits. The process of filing a Social Security disability application can be overwhelming for some individuals. It may be the first time that they have had to deal with a government agency as large and as complex as the Social Security Administration.
A Utah disability lawyer can help you understand the process from filing an initial claim through all four levels of the disability appeal process. Your attorney prepares and files your application, monitors the application, keeps up with deadlines, reminds you of appointments with the SSA staff, and helps ensure that all steps are taken to give you the best outcome possible for your disability determination.
How Are Attorney Fees and Expenses Established in a Disability Case?
Social Security disability lawyers are paid a fee based on the percentage of the back pay you receive once your disability claim is approved. The Social Security Administration limits the attorney fee to 25% of your back pay.
Backpay is calculated based on the date the SSA judges you became disabled by its definition of disability through the date your application is approved. The SSA also sets a maximum limit on attorney fees. In unusual cases, an attorney may submit a fee petition requesting a higher fee, but those cases are very limited.
Therefore, we will not ask you to pay any attorney fees upfront when you hire out Utah disability law firm.
Costs and expenses of the case are billed separately from the attorney fee. Those expenses are typically paid from the money you receive for your back pay. We can discuss how our law firm handles expenses and costs in more detail during your initial consultation with a Utah Social Security Disability attorney with our office.
Contact the Acadia Law Group to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you are unable to work because of a disabling condition, we want to help. Acadia Law Group has a team of disability advocates who assist clients with Social Security disability cases. We handle all aspects of your disability claim so that you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family. Our attorneys appear with clients at their disability hearing, so you do not need to worry about feeling alone and unsure.
You can contact a disability attorney in Utah by calling Acadia Law Group at 1-800-653-4600 to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you fight for the disability benefits you need and deserve under either of the SSA’s disability programs. Our goal is to give you the legal advice you need, and the support and guidance required to obtain a favorable outcome after filing your Social Security disability application.