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Old 03-12-2007, 09:08 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 33
djmcmullen HB User
Question for those who receive SSD and had a lawyer

I applied for SSD in July 2006. I was denied September 2006 and promptly went to a lawyer to appeal. I have had two mental exams in the last month, and was told that I will have a decision by the end of this month.

I called my lawyer to see if they have all my information in, and if not I was going to call my doctors to make sure they sent the stuff in. Well, my lawyer doesnt collect information from my doctors at this point, he waits until I am denied again and once we apply for a hearing THEN he starts collecting drs notes and etc. Is this how it works? I have to say that it doesnt make any sense to me.....how can SSD make a decision on my case right now if they dont have all the information? or has SSD been collecting information on their own?

I called back to make an appt to talk to my lawyer and am waiting to see if they can get me in tuesday or wednesday. I am having surgery on Thursday and will be in the hospital for several days....I am so frustrated right now! any thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.

 
Old 03-12-2007, 10:07 AM   #2
Senior Member
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 164
txmomof3 HB User
Re: Question for those who receive SSD and had a lawyer

I never ended up hiring a lawyer, but I can give you some insight based upon the research I did. For the 1st appeal, all that happens is your file goes to another SSD evaluator. They collect any additional/more current information directly from the doctors/healthcare professionals and then make a decision. Basically, it is a check and balance system at this point...the purpose is to see if the first evaluator may have overlooked something, see if you have gotten better or worse, or any other changes that might have occured.
The reason your lawyer is not requesting paperwork from your doctors at this point is because they charge him or her money to do so (usually a considerable amount due to the sheer volume of paperwork you have generated at this point). There are two reasons the lawyer is doing this:
1) As long as SSD has all of your doctors/clinics/healthcare professionals contact information, they will request and receive all the necessary paperwork. Therefore, the lawyer would be paying to duplicate this.
2) I don't remember the exact numbers since it has been a couple of years, but I know federal law restricts the amount the lawyer can receive from your backpay. It is a percentage up to around $6000 total. From the lawyer's point of view, he is not going to spend any money until he or she absolutely has to. I know at this point $6,000 is a LOT of money, but realistically (and I am not a lawyer or involved in the legal profession in anyway!) the profit margin on SSD cases probably is not that big. Many of these cases can take awhile and the lawyer is basically doing the work for free until you win your case.

Remember, the lawyer does not get paid until you win your case. Therefore, her or she has a vested interest in getting you approved. I am not a huge fan of lawyers in general (before I was disabled I worked in healthcare), but the ones I talked to about SSD were very nice and I felt like most of them were doing it for more than money. SSD lawyers know how difficult the system is and really try to help you. The lawyer I was going to hire if I was denied talked with me several times during my initial application without having me hire him!

Also, I don't know if you have seen this or not, but if you go to the SS website, there are flowcharts showing you the entire process.

Good luck!

 
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