Washington County, VA Social Security Disability Lawyer
Serving residents of Washington County and the surrounding communities, including Abingdon, Bristol, Kingsport, Lebanon, Johnson City, Boone, Marion, Lebanon, and throughout Southwestern Virginia.
Of the nearly 54,000 Washington County residents, over 2,300 live with disabling illnesses and injuries that affect their ability to earn a living. For many of these individuals, suffering a debilitating impairment is compounded by a lack of earnings, making it nearly impossible to afford even basic necessities. In situations such as these, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) can be a critical lifeline, as it can help compensate for lost earnings and provide much-needed financial relief.
Individuals meeting the qualification requirements established by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) are entitled to receive monthly checks until retirement age (when standard Social Security retirement benefits begin) so long as a disability persists. While it is possible to apply for SSD without a lawyer, the likelihood of success is three times higher when a disability attorney represents someone.
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we help disabled individuals and their families obtain the SSD benefits they need and deserve. For those who have not applied, we can explain the process and prepare an initial application to provide the best opportunity of securing a favorable determination. If a denial has been issued, we can request a reconsideration or fight tenaciously at a hearing or in federal court to get every dollar to which you are rightfully entitled.
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Over 70% of Initial Social Security Disability Applications Are Denied.
The SSA has stringent requirements for Social Security Disability and, unless every condition is met, the examiner must deny a claim, even if they believe a person is genuinely disabled. Consequently, only 30% of initial claimants are approved, meaning that most applicants must appeal to secure benefits.
The SSA offers the following four-tiered appeals process:
- Request for reconsideration
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court Review
If you received a denial, you generally only have sixty days to appeal the determination; thus, time is of the essence. As an experienced Washington County SSD lawyer, Mark Hurt has a successful track record of winning appeals, and he can aggressively fight in a hearing or court to get you the maximum benefits possible.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for Social Security Disability?
The SSA considers age, education, work history, and the extent of an injury when making eligibility determinations. To qualify, individuals must have a severe impairment that renders them unable to work for a minimum of one year (or that will likely result in death).
Additionally, applicants must have contributed enough taxes into the Social Security program during their working career to meet SSA thresholds. Typically, taxes must be paid into the system for at least ten years before the date of a disability; however, the requirements are lessened for those who become disabled at younger ages. If you are unsure if you meet these requirements, we would be happy to review your medical and work history and advise on whether you may qualify.
How Can a Washington County Social Security Disability Attorney Help Me?
Many people wonder, “why does the likelihood of obtaining benefits increase when I hire a disability lawyer?” The answer is relatively straightforward.
Minor clerical errors or omissions almost always result in denials, and most applicants do not know that a mistake has been made because they have never applied before. Further, most people do not understand what examiners are looking for with respect to the medical and disability evidentiary requirements; thus, it is easy to omit or to fail to provide the specific documentation needed to prove a claim.
When an application is rejected, the mistake stays on the record and can be used against a claimant throughout the entire process. Essentially, once a misstep is made, it is hard to undo.
Unfortunately, in most cases, when an application is rejected, it results in months or longer of delay, as the applicant must then navigate through the appellate process (in other words, they cannot simply correct a mistake or submit additional information as part of the initial application process to be considered). Importantly, a disabled claimant is thrust into the position of not being able to work, and also not having any income to pay their bills.
We Help Applicants in Putting Their Best Foot Forward to Have their Initial Claim Approved. We Also Help Those Who Have Received a Claim Denial.
As an experienced SSD law firm, we have helped numerous clients apply for benefits and appeal denials. As such, we have a deep understanding of the documentation needed to substantiate a claim and know how to avoid common application errors. Consequently, when we represent a client, we thoroughly review all documents to identify issues prior to submission. As a result, we are often able to obtain approvals at the initial application phase.
Firm founding attorney Mark Hurt has over three decades of litigation experience and is known for his tenacious courtroom representation. If benefits are denied, he will not hesitate to zealously fight on your behalf at a hearing or in federal court to ensure that you get the maximum benefits possible. However, it is crucial to not delay in reaching out to our office, as you typically only have sixty days to request an appeal.
How Much Does a Disability Lawyer Cost?
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand the financial difficulties that many families face when a disabling injury or medical event occurs. At our firm, there is never any retainer required – we can begin representing you immediately.
We represent clients on a contingency fee basis (no fee unless benefits are obtained); this fee is equal to 25% or the backpay only, up to a maximum of $6,000 (in more cases). At the outset of our representation, we provide a detailed fee agreement to every client before commencing services. This agreement explains our fees and the terms governing our representation. Further, we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
It’s important to understand that we do not receive a fee on future amounts that are not yet due. As a result, if we are contacted soon after a person become disabled to prepare the initial claim application, our fee is typically relatively low, since the backpay amount will be also be low at that time. Because of the low fee and the potentially devastating consequences that can result when a person (and possibly also their family) may needlessly have to wait months in an appeals process, it makes sense for claimants to retain an experienced social security disability law firm and increase their chances of obtaining an approval at the outset.
Call Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn How We Can Help with Your Disability Claim.
If you have questions regarding disability qualification requirements, whether you can return to work, or the general application or appeals process, call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to hearing from and helping you!
 Percentage of Population Receiving SSDI, 2016, ADA PARC, (4.3% of Virginia residents collect Social Security Disability).