If you are represented by Adams Law Group your attorney will handle this and you can relax. For those without an advocate in their corner there are of three ways of appealing your initial determination.
- Set an immediate appointment with our office. Bring along your denial letter and we will handle everything.
- If you want the headache of handling this matter-you may Telephone the Social Security Administration and make arrangements for your appeal to be filed by phone and mail. This is risky as you are leaving you case in the hands of bureaucrats.
- Go to the Social Security office to submit your appeal. If you go to the Social Security office, be sure to take along a copy of your denial letter and get copies of everything.
Your denial letter will tell you about appealing. Read it carefully. In many states or jurisdictions the first appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. But here in Missouri and nine other states the Reconsideration level has been removed. In Missouri, we have in place procedures allowing you to skip the reconsideration step and proceed directly to a hearing. This means that rather than filing a Request for Reconsideration we file a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Your denial letter will specifically tell you that you can appeal by requesting a hearing or reconsideration.
What if I have already filed a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge? Can I still hire an attorney?
Yes, you have the right to counsel at any time.
I want an attorney but money is tight because I can't work.
NO PROBLEM! We never ask for money up front. We only get paid if you get awarded a lump sum of back pay and then the payment is paid to us by the Social Security Administration.
How much do you charge?
Our clients prefer a "contingent fee," a fee paid only if they win. The usual fee is 25% (one-quarter) of past due benefits or $6,000 which ever is less. That is, the fee is one-fourth of those benefits that build up by the time you are found disabled and benefits are paid. Although the usual fee will not normally exceed $6,000 if we have to appeal after the Administration Law Judge hearing to the United States District Court and file a lawsuit against the commissioner of the Social Security Administration our fee may increase. But under no circumstances do fees come out of current monthly benefits. In no case will you be asked to pay fees out of your pocket or if you lose. Also any fee we are paid must be approved in writing by the judge.
In addition to the attorney fee, you will be expected to pay the expense of gathering medical records, obtaining medical opinion letters, etc.
If I lose and do not get awarded, how much is the attorney fee?
NOTHING! You will not owe any attorney fee. You will only be billed for any medical record expenses incurred if obtained copies of any medical records on your behalf.