Call (816)844-3401

FAQs

  • Fees are for time, knowledge and labor by the firm. They do not include costs such as mailing, medical records, or travel. Generally, fees are paid to us through the responsible program such as Social Security or the VA. Fees are controlled by law, and the firm follows the standard.
  • Expenses are the costs we incur for gaining evidence in your claim. We also have a set-up fee that covers all various expenses that we don’t individually charge. The expenses need to be reimbursed at the end of the claim regardless of the outcome.
  • Social Security: There are two disability programs
    • Social Security Disability Insurance: this is the program based upon your work history and “paying into” the system. It is limited based upon when you became disabled, how much you worked, and when you stopped working.
    • Supplemental Security Income: this program is based on financial need and disability.
  • ERISA: the rules for disability under ERISA are based upon the policy, employer benefit plan or insurance contract
  • Federal Disability: Employees of the federal government have disability annuity retirement benefits after being an employee—typically a five-year minimum period is required.
  • Railroad Disability: Employees of railroad with at least ten years of employment are eligible to make application for disability annuity retirement benefits. Surviving spouses who are disabled of deceased railroad workers may also be eligible for a disability benefit.
  • VA Disability:
    • Service-connected disability: the disability must be related to an injury or illness that occurred or was aggravated during service
    • Non-service-connected disability: this is a needs based program for disabled individuals
  • The rules for each program are different, and you may be eligible to receive benefits under more than one program. Each program can be affected by the others.
  • You will be introduced to one of our attorneys during your initial appointment. The attorney can answer your questions at that time.
  • Your case will be assigned a specific attorney if you have to have a hearing. We use any available attorney to ensure that your case is heard as quickly as SSA is ready to schedule.
  • We send the paperwork that the SSA or other programs asks of you. We like to have a copy in your file from the start of the claim so that we can produce any document without worrying you through the process.
  • We will send out updates which help us stay on top of your medical evidence.
  • If you lose a stage of your claim, we will send the appeal paperwork.
  • If we send out any paperwork that is different from the choices above, we will contact you and speak to you in advance.
  • Sue specializes in obtaining medical records from facilities. She works behind the scenes to make sure claims are fully developed.
  • You call Sue:
    • AFTER you have had your appointment with a new doctor or hospital
    • When you have been given a new diagnosis
    • You have been released from an impatient stay.
  • You will leave this information on her voice mail and she will not call you back unless she needs additional information. We ask this so she can spend her time following up on medical records and updating your files in the most efficient way.
  • We always wait for a written decision to come in the mail.
  • We also must wait for the Notice of Award to come in the mail.
  • We will contact you via letter or telephone once your claim is reviewed.
  • If you have questions, you can call the office at any time and you will speak to a knowledgeable staff member.
  • Treatment is the evidence of your disability. The medical records prove this to the entity making your decision.
  • Proving your disability is very difficult – if not impossible – without those records of treatment.
  • We recommend that every time you see your doctor, you speak of every medical condition and symptom. Accurate and complete medical records are very important in establishing disability benefit eligibility.
  • The room will have The Administrative Law Judge, an expert to speak about jobs, an assistant to the judge that records the hearing, you and your representative. Occasionally the ALJ will ask for an expert on your medical conditions to be present as well.
  • The judge will review your medical records in advance of your hearing.
  • There will not be an audience so that your medical history is kept private and confidential.
  • The Notice of Award is going to tell you how much back due benefits you are eligible for after your claim is won.
  • If you are eligible for back due benefits, the notice will address the attorney fees awarded to the firm.
  • It will address if you are eligible for Medicare and what premiums will be taken out of your monthly benefit.
  • The notice will address the time frame for your review by Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Note: If you have children under the age of 18, they will have separate award notices once you apply for family benefits.
  • B&D has done disability law for over 25 years. We know how social security works and how to get the results you deserve. It is a long process that is difficult without the knowledge to navigate each step. Let us help you through the process.

Recreational drugs? Judges and people who make decisions regarding awarding disability benefits expect the claimant to obey the law. Disobeying the law is frequently viewed as reducing believability of the person seeking disability benefits.

Excessive alcohol? Body parts can be damaged or destroyed by too much alcohol. Judges and people who make decisions regarding alcohol consumption can view a person using too much alcohol as intentionally destroying the body. If a person intentionally is destroying the body, it makes it easier for a claim to be denied for intentionally causing disability.