You have worked for years at your profession, trade, or job. During that time, you have put in a lot of hard work and effort, but you have also formed rewarding relationships and a sense of achievement. However, at a certain point you began to feel pain, discomfort, brain fog, or other impairments that made work difficult or impossible to complete. Or perhaps it was a sudden slip, trip, fall, or car accident that caused a life-altering injury making the things you once took for granted impossible to accomplish.
Many people are aware that government benefits are available for hard-working people who have developed an impairment that no longer allows them to work. However, many people do not necessarily understand how to apply for benefits, the Social Security Administration’s basis for decisions, or why they received a rejection or a request for additional information. Inexperience in these matters can cause benefits applicants to make mistakes that can result in delayed benefits or a rejection.
However, you do not have to go through the process alone, a Fayetteville AR disability lawyer can help. For more than 20 years, the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has fought for people who can no longer work due to a serious injury or illness. Working with an experienced and strategic attorney can help you avoid common mistakes and reasons for benefits denials.
You Didn’t Think that You Could Afford an SSDI Lawyer
Many people assume that having to stop work means that they can not afford a high-quality Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) attorney. In recognition of this difficulty that SSDI applicants face, the Social Security Administration has enacted fee agreement guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the attorney only receives the funds that he or she are entitled to by law. For SSDI lawyers, this means that they can only be paid out of the unpaid back benefits owed to the benefits applicant. Furthermore, the fee is limited to one-quarter, up to $6,000, of the back benefits awarded. In other words, nearly anyone can afford to be represented in a SSDI matter because the lawyer is only paid if he or she secures a benefits award. Furthermore, that amount is limited to a percentage of the back pay.
You Failed to Respond to a Rejection Letter or Check into the Case Status
Receiving a SSDI benefits denial, especially at the initial stages, is incredibly common. However, the actions you take after receiving the letter can have serious consequences. When you receive a rejection letter, you have a maximum of 65 days to respond. The 65 days to respond includes the 60 day filing period and five days to allow time for mailing. But, if you fail to receive a notice of denial at all, you will be unaware of the rejection and unable to file an appeal within the prescribed time limit. Furthermore, even if you do file an appeal, neither the postal service nor the employees that handle mail at the SSA are perfect. You may file a timely appeal, but fail to notice that it has been lost at some point during shipping and handling. Failure to address this problem can lead to the same result as not filing an appeal at all: You must begin the process from the start once again.
You Did Not Comply with Your Treatment Plan or Doctor’s Orders
A SSDI benefits award is dependent on your ability to meet the program’s medical and non-medical requirements. A person’s medical eligibility is assessed through the credibility of the allegations in light of objective clinical tests and subjective reports of your limitations. One of the ways the Social Security Administration will assess your credibility is whether you sought treatment for the condition. Furthermore, the claims examiner will determine whether you complied with your treatment plan.
Failure to adhere to a prescribed treatment plan or medication can be grounds for a benefits denial. However, an experienced SSDI lawyer can challenge a benefits denial on these grounds because there are exceptions to this rule. Valid excuse for a failure to follow-through on treatment includes:
- Being told that no treatment would be effective.
- Being unable to afford the treatment.
- The medical treatment prescribed would violate a bona fide religious belief.
Other exceptions to this rule exist. An experience lawyer can take a strategic approach to your Social Security benefits appeal.
Rely on our SSDI experience
For more than 20 years, the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has served hard working people in northwest Arkansas and beyond. From our Fayetteville, Arkansas offices, we serve Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville, and all of Washington and Benton Counties. To schedule a free and confidential SSDI consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438 today. You can also contact the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak online.