Nine out of 10 people who get to the third level of the SSDI process realize they need help
Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) February 12, 2009
People who apply for Social Security disability benefits can increase their changes of getting awarded when they hire representation, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported that people with representation are more likely to obtain their benefits than those without. In addition, more people are hiring representatives to help them through the SSDI process, especially at the hearing level, where 90 percent of hearings involve representation, according to the Social Security Administration.
"Nine out of 10 people who get to the third level of the SSDI process realize they need help," said David Bueltemann, supervisor of senior claimant representatives at Allsup. In his career, Mr. Bueltemann has helped more than 5,000 people with disabilities receive their entitled SSDI benefits.
"Many people will find a significant advantage to getting representation services even earlier in the process," Mr. Bueltemann said. "For example, Allsup will provide representation to people who are just beginning the process. Allsup representatives help people with the initial application, getting them started with the process of documenting their work history and medical condition that led them to quit working."
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the "SSDI Overview" on Allsup.com.
Choosing Non-Attorney Representation Earlier
Similar to hiring tax help, people have options when selecting SSDI representation. Non-attorney representatives , such as those at Allsup, provide significant knowledge, expertise and experience with the disability process.
"One of the biggest misunderstandings out there is that people cannot get help when they first apply for Social Security disability benefits," said Mr. Bueltemann. "Many people think they must be denied one or two times before they get representation. This simply is not true."
Allsup's award rate for people making their first application is 53 percent compared with the SSA standard of 35 percent. "Many Allsup claimants find out that they can get their benefits more quickly and earlier with our help," he said.
Another point of confusion is that someone must hire an attorney for this service. Since Allsup began its business 25 years ago, more than 110,000 people have gotten their SSDI benefits with the help of the company, which has non-attorney representatives.
"Many people are awarded benefits every year with non-attorney representatives," Mr. Bueltemann explained. "A law degree is not required to provide successful disability representation, as Allsup has shown year after year." Allsup professionals have many hundreds of years of direct work experience with Allsup and with previous positions at the Social Security Administration and state Disability Determination Services across the country.
Expert knowledge and a proven track record can be important when choosing representation. For example, Allsup has a success rate of 97 percent. This means 97 percent of people who complete the SSDI process with Allsup receive awards.
Keep in mind, also, that there is an industry standard for the fees you pay when hiring representation, and the fee process is overseen by the SSA. Typically representatives are only paid after you have been awarded your benefits.
Find more insights on questions to ask when choosing SSDI representation by visiting Allsup.com, and looking at the section "Choosing Disability Representation". Find a free printable checklist online to help you or someone you know in choosing a representative.
Allsup, Belleville, Ill., is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, Allsup has helped more than 110,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. Allsup employs more than 550 professionals who deliver services directly to consumers and their families, or through their employers and long-term disability insurance carriers. For more information, visit http://www.Allsup.com.
(800) 854-1418, ext. 5065
Dan Allsup, ext. 5760
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