How many times have you heard from your children, "That's not fair!" Too many to count? We can laugh it off when they're young, and older brother gets to play football with the neighborhood kids while the little tykes are told to stay on the sidelines until they're old enough to play.
But the reality is sometimes life is not fair. We see it every day fighting for our Social Security Disability clients. And it's no laughing matter.
Many of our clients have been sidelined for life as they were going about their daily routines. One client was stopped in traffic on his way home from work and got rear-ended by a driver going above the speed limit. His injuries were so devastating he vomits three or four times a week. He has headaches so severe they wake him up several times a night, and he has photosensitivity to the point where he can no longer go outside and enjoy the sunshine.
Another client was injured on the job just by walking up a flight of stairs.
One client simply sat down at church when a bolt came lose on the chair and she fell to the floor causing her permanent and total disability.
Some of our clients have fought for our country and returned home physically or mentally unable to exercise their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness - a right promised to all U.S. citizens in the Declaration of Independence. Sadly, these veterans are among the more than one million people on the Social Security Disability wait list whose delay in having their cases heard can be more than two years in many parts of the country!
Now that's not fair!
Social Security Disability Wait Times in North Carolina
While Social Security Disability is available to help our citizens who have been sidelined by catastrophe, getting it can be very difficult for a number of reasons. One is the long wait time. According to the Social Security Administration, the wait times in North Carolina are currently:
- Charlotte - 21 months
- Fayetteville - 20 months
- Greensboro - 21 months
- Raleigh - 19 months
Some are forced to wait so long they have died before their hearing date because some are simply unable to pay for medication they need to live. We have seen this happen.
When they finally get a hearing many are denied benefits. More than two-thirds are denied the first time and 88% the second time. Of those who are accepted, it can take several more months in many cases to begin receiving payments and back benefits.
Sadly, some are denied because they attempted to navigate this overwhelmingly large bureaucratic aircraft carrier by themselves.
James Scott Farrin Social Security Disability Team of "Insiders"
These are the circumstances that motivate our Social Security Disability team to come to work every day. We know what you're up against because most of us have worked on the other side.
All but one of our paralegals has worked for the Social Security Administration as a
Disability Determination Services examiner, where initial applications are
accepted or denied.
This inside experience is helpful in knowing how the system works, including:
- What they look for to accept a claim
- The importance of filing the correct forms, filling them out correctly, and meeting demanding and unwavering deadlines
- What medical records you need to produce - and which ones not to produce
Just the paperwork alone can be overwhelming for one person.
Not only can we help you complete it correctly, process it on time, and in the manner in which Social Security Disability requires, but we can also follow up in a timely manner and try to keep the process moving. We can also help you obtain your medical records so that when your case goes to hearing, we know we've tried to do everything possible to make sure your information will not be sent back because of a technicality, for example.
Of all the attorneys licensed in NC, fewer than 1%* are board certified specialists in Social Security Disability law. I am one of them. I also chair the N.C. State Bar's Social Security Disability Law Specialty Committee and I lead the committee charged with writing and grading examinations for attorneys who wish to specialize in Social Security Disability law.
Capped Fees for Social Security Disability Clients
Some people may mistakenly think they cannot afford us to help them through this daunting process. If you are one of them, you are mistaken! This is one area where the federal government is your friend. Not only do we work on a contingency basis, like all Social Security Disability lawyers, the federal government has capped legal fees in order to help keep costs low for you.
The contingency fee for Social Security Disability clients is limited
to 25% of back-due benefits, or $6,000, whichever is less.
NC Social Security Disability Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation
If you need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, or if you have applied and were denied, click here to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. Our attorneys and team of former "insiders" will fight to try to improve your chances of getting the benefits you may deserve.
(We think that's a fair offer.)
* Percentage from the NC State Bar as of December 2016