One of the first questions that you may ask when you consider applying for Social Security benefits or after you have been denied benefits is: "Do I need an attorney." The answer to this question may depend on whom you ask and what stage of the application process you are in.
Mr. Kessinger almost always advises that you make the initial application on your own. In all likelihood you will be denied. The reason for this advice, however, is because the application is free. If you can get approved on the initial application by yourself, then you don't need an attorney and you certainly don't need to pay an attorney up to 25% of your retroactive Social Security benefits.
That being said, it is probable that you will be denied on the initial application. Once the Social Security Administration has denied your claim, it is unlikely that your claim will be approved without the help of an experienced Social Security practitioner. Once you are denied, it is your best interest to consult an attorney. If you hire Mr. Kessinger and his representation does not result in approval of your Social Security disability or Supplement Security Income claim, then you will not owe any attorney fees.
Mr. Kessinger offers a free initial Social Security consultation. If you wonder whether you should apply or whether you need an attorney, you can contact Mr. Kessinger at 208.553.8849 or utilizing the contact information on the Contact Attorney page of this web site.
Mr. Kessinger only takes Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income cases on a contingent fee basis. You don't have to pay an attorney a huge retainer to hire Mr. Kessinger as your disability attorney. What is more, the initial consultation is completely free whether you hire him or not. As the fee is purely contingent, if Mr. Kessinger takes your case and is not successful in getting you approved for benefits, you do not owe any attorney fee. Simply put: No Recovery, No Attorney Fee.
Upon approval of a claim with an attorney representative, the Social Security Administration automatically withholds the attorney fee and pays the attorney directly.
On certain cases it is possible to get a claim approved in an expedited matter. Mr. Kessinger is proactive and is routinely successful at getting the Social Security Administration to approve cases without the need of a hearing or the lengthy wait time.
Unfortunately many cases do require an Administrative Law Judge Hearing. If you are not approved on your initial application, the process of applying for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income can be painfully slow. Assuming your case requires an Administrative Law Judge Hearing, it can easily take two years or more from the time of your initial application until the Social Security Administrative Law Judge decides your case. In some cases there is no way to expedite the process. Contact Mr. Kessinger at 208.553.8849 for a free consulation.
In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have earned adequate Social Security credits to be insured. How many quarters of credit you need to be insured for Social Security disability depends on your age when you become disabled. While the rules are too complex to explain here, the following information generally applies:
Because the rules for determining whether you have sufficient credits to qualify for Social Security Disability are complex and the period for which you are insured will expire if you stop working for an extended period of time, it is very important that you apply for Social Security Disability immediately upon believing you are disabled. If you wait, you may lose benefits. If there is a dispute about whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you should contact an attorney to assist you with your case.
The initial application is normally denied within two months of the application. After the initial application is denied, you have 60 days to file a Request for Reconsideration. This is often referred to as appealing your Social Security denial. Like the initial application, the Request for Reconsideration is normally denied within about two months. After the Request for Reconsideration is denied, you again have 60 days, this time to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Expect to wait 18-24 months between the filing of your Request for Administrative Law Judge Hearing and the actual date of the hearing.
Important Note: Each time you are denied Social Security benefits, you will receive a letter that sets forth the date for appealing the decision. If you do not appeal the decision in a timely manner by filing a Request for Reconsideration or a Request for an Administrative Law Judge Hearing, you must begin the application anew. Failing to meet deadline to appeal a decision may result in permanently lost benefits.
Mr. Kessinger has represented clients throughout North Idaho. While many of his clients live in the larger cities like Lewiston, Moscow, Coeur d'Alene, and Sandpoint, he has also represented Social Security claimants from many of the small towns that are peppered throughout North Idaho.
Spokane is the largest city in Eastern Washington with a population in excess of 450,000 people. Spokane is the location of the Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. Administrative Law Judges from the Spokane office hear cases throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Mr. Kessinger has helped clients with cases in Spokane, as well as many of the smaller cities in Washington like Pullman, Colfax, and Asotin.