Kansas Social Security Disability Attorney
Dedicated to Fighting for Our Clients’ Rights
If you sustain an injury or become sick and cannot work, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) benefits. However, obtaining such benefits can be a complicated ordeal. That's why it's important to have an experienced lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights. At Bretz Injury Law, our knowledgeable attorneys have years of experience helping injury victims secure the SSD benefits they rightfully deserve.
Schedule your free initial consultation by contacting our firm today.
What Is Social Security Disability?
The federal government created the Social Security Disability program to provide financial compensation to sick or injured workers who have not reached their full retirement age and cannot work for an extended period of time.
Employees pay into the Social Security system in the form of a Social Security tax called a "FICA" contribution. Another disability program is called Supplemental Security Income, which provides benefits to people with low income who haven't worked or earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
Why Do I Need a Kansas Social Security Disability Attorney?
Successfully applying for SSD benefits can be complicated, confusing, and often frustrating. Many SSD applications are denied during the initial application stage. But with the help of an experienced disability attorney, you can put yourself in a better position to get approval on an appeal.
When you hire us to work with you, we can help fill out your SSD application. We can also file an appeal on your behalf if your initial application is denied. We're familiar with the entire process, from initial application to the various levels of appeals. We help clients file applications in Kansas. We know what information to include and how best to proceed at each step.
Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability
What are my chances of being approved for SSDI?
Compared to those of other states, the odds of being approved for SSD are slightly better in Kansas, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Nevertheless, initial SSDI applications are only approved about a third of the time. During the reconsideration stage, about one in ten applications are approved. If your case receives an appeal hearing, your odds increase substantially. However, it's important to remember that the average wait time for an SSDI appeal hearing in Kansas is more than a year.
Is my disability serious enough to qualify for benefits?
Social Security regulations make it easier to be found disabled as you get older. It becomes easier for a few people at age 45 (those unable to read English), for more people at age 50, for most people at age 55, and even more people at age 60. If you're over age 55 and you cannot do any job you have done in the past 15 years, you should definitely apply. If you're over age 50 and have a severe impairment that keeps you from doing all but the easiest jobs, you should also apply.
But even if you're a younger person, you don't have to be bedridden in order to be found disabled. If you're under age 45 or 50 and you cannot do your past jobs and you cannot work full time at any regular job, that may be enough.
Being unable to work and being found "disabled" by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are two different things. It is often difficult to convince SSA that someone is "disabled" even when he or she genuinely cannot work. But it is not impossible.
The SSA has very strict guidelines for determining if you are eligible to receive SSDI benefits. Obtaining such benefits can be extremely complicated, especially if there's some doubt concerning the severity of your injury. One of our experienced attorneys can work with you and help gather the evidence needed to support your request to receive SSDI benefits.
What should I do if my SSDI application is denied?
Contact our law firm immediately. We can work with you and fight for a reconsideration review or appeal hearing for your case. If you do not appeal your denied SSDI application within 60 days, you will have to start over with a new application - and you could lose some back benefits in the process.
Filing a successful SSDI appeal can be tricky if you're not working with someone who understands the process. If your paperwork is not filled out correctly or if you don't have enough evidence to file an appeal, your odds of overturning your initial denial could be quite small. We can find out exactly why your appeal was denied and work with you toward the goal of having your SSDI application successfully approved.
What are the biggest mistakes people applying for SSDI make?
Failing to appeal. More than half of the people whose applications are denied fail to appeal. Many people who are denied on reconsideration fail to request a hearing.
Another mistake, although much less common, is made by people who fail to obtain appropriate medical care. Some people with long-term chronic medical problems feel that they have not been helped much by doctors. Thus, for the most part, they stop going for treatment. This is a mistake for both medical and legal reasons. First, no one needs good medical care more than those with chronic medical problems. Second, medical treatment records provide the most important evidence of disability in a Social Security Disability case.
What medical evidence does the Social Security Administration need?
SSA will gather the medical records, so you don't have to do that. Whether you should ask your doctor to write a letter is a hard question. A few people win their cases by having their doctors write letters. You can try this if you want to. The problem is that the medical-legal issues are so complicated in most disability cases that a doctor may inadvertently give the wrong impression. Thus, obtaining medical reports may be something best left for a lawyer to do.
Do I need an attorney?
Although a lawyer is not required to apply for Social Security Disability, a lawyer can provide many advantages to a claimant. And the sooner you contact our law firm, the better. When you contact us near the beginning of the application process, we can advise you and help protect your rights throughout the Social Security Disability process. We can assist you at both the initial application stage and at the reconsideration stage, as well as at your formal hearing with the Administrative Law Judge and any federal appeals that may be needed.
Having an attorney working for you can be extremely beneficial:
- Help you obtain the proper reports from your physicians and specialists.
- Assist you in keeping records that will detail your condition and the extent of your disability for the judge.
- Monitor the status of your claim as it moves through the complicated Social Security Administration system.
- Request further medical evidence from your doctors, if necessary.
- Deliver an opening statement on your behalf at the administrative hearing.
- Ask you the necessary questions at the hearing to present your case in the most effective manner.
- Lay the foundation for a remand or reversal on appeal if the Administrative Law Judge decides against you.
- Help you verify that the monthly amount and beginning date of benefits are correct.
Can I afford to hire an SSDI lawyer?
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee. That means we only get a fee if you get approved. The usual fee is 25 percent of back benefits up to a maximum amount set by SSA, currently $6,000.00. That is, the fee is one-fourth of those benefits that build up by the time you are found disabled and benefits are paid. No fee comes out of current monthly benefits.
Although the usual fee will not normally exceed $6,000.00, if we have to appeal after the first administrative law judge hearing, our contract drops the $6,000.00 limit on fees. Even in this circumstance, though, our fee will not be greater than 25 percent of back benefits.
Sometimes at the request of a client, we charge a non-contingent hourly or per case fee. There is also the rare case where a contingent 25 percent fee arrangement is insufficient to allow for an adequate fee. In such a case, we use a different method of calculating the fee.
In addition to the fee, you may be expected to pay the expense of gathering medical records, obtaining medical opinion letters, etc. Contact us to discuss your case in detail and how we can help you.
Can you help me with other SSDI questions?
Yes. We have dedicated our careers to helping people just like you. That's why we strongly urge you to contact our law firm immediately and schedule a free consultation.
If you have additional questions or would like to learn more about whether you have a potential disability claim, you can do any of the following:
Fill out a free case analysis form online or call us at (620) 234-8880 today. We will review your information and contact you to discuss your specific claim.