Putting the Security in Social Security Disability Filing in Texas

When a catastrophic event puts your future at risk, anxiety and uncertainty will cause you to have a million questions. What can you do? How can you provide for your family? Will you recover?

Allow the extensive experience and knowledge of the Packard Law Firm put your worries to rest. Come learn the answers to your questions and see how we can help pull you out of the depths of uncertainty.

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  • At what point in the application process should I contact the lawfirm? Do I have to be denied before I can get help?

    If you are disabled and can't work, you should apply for social security benefits.  Give us a call and Social Security disability lawyer can help you out, at the beginning of the process or even if you have been denied once or even twice.  We can help you at the beginning or we can help you at the end when you are going in front of the judge.  Fill out the contact form here on the website or pick up the phone and give us a call and we will see what we can do to help you.

  • Can I afford a lawyer on my social security disability case?

    If you want to hire a social security disability lawyer, the process if very simple.  You come in and sign an agreement and what the agreement says is that you will pay 25% of the back pay.  Meaning we will go back as far as we can to get as much benefits as you can and the moment you receive those benefits, that is locked in as the back pay.  We would keep 25% of that, you keep the rest. 

    If you don't win, there is no fee. 

    As far as the future benefits go you keep 100% of those.  The attorney fee is just strickly the back pay.  So if you don't win the case, you don't pay anything.  If you do win the case, you are paying the lawyer with the money the lawyer won for you.  It is a really good deal, because you are getting the help you need up front and the lawyer is compensated in the back end out of the benefits that he got for you.

  • Prepare for Social Security Disability Hearing in San Antonio

    Read four tips on how to help you prepare for your disability hearing.  For more information, contact us for a FREE evaluation of your disability claim.

    1. Know your story!

    Think about the reasons you cannot work.  What kind of problems give you the most trouble at work? Do you have a hard time sitting, standing, using your hands? Do you have a hard time concentrating or being around people? Know what your physical or mental limits are that may keep you from being a good employee. Make sure those limitations are heard in your application. 

    2. Get your Evidence together: 

    Evidence is key! You absolutely must have your medical records, documentation and other information necessary to support your allegations. Make sure the Social Security Administration is presented with all information relevant to your case.

    3. Double Check Social Security’s Work: 

    Social Security will sometimes lose your documents. Get written proof that SSA received all of your important documents in your case

    4. Tell Your Doctors everything: 

    Talk with your doctors about ALL of your limitations, especially if you have having problems sitting, standing, using your hands, or concentrating. If your condition changes or if you are having a “bad day”, you must let your doctors know. Your doctors need to know how often you hare having “bad days” and what your conditions are like on those days.

    Contact an experienced San Antonio Social Security disability lawyer to schedule a FREE consulation today!

  • How Will Our San Antonio Social Security Lawyers Help You?

    The Help You Need. The Benefits You’ve Earned.

    If you are trying to get disability benefits, you are most likely struggling both physically and financially. We're here to help. The Social Security lawyers at the Packard Law Firm will be with you every step of the way.

    If you need to apply for Social Security disability…

    Applying for disability benefits in San Antonio is a complicated process, and most people are denied the first time. But we can walk you through the application to help you avoid errors that may not be easy to fix later on. The earlier you get us involved, the better.

    Common Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For Social Security

    What does it cost?

    We will not charge you any fee or case expense, unless you win. The most we will ever charge is 25% of your past due benefits.

    Claim has been denied by Social Security

    Don't give up! It is devastating when you know you cannot work and your claim for disability is denied. The process to appeal can be long and tedious but success is possible. However, you have a limited amount of time to file for an appeal. A quick, confidential talk with a Social Security disability lawyer is probably the best thing you can do for your case at this point. We know the process. We know the pitfalls. We’ll help you prepare for your appeal and we’ll help you win. Contact our office today.

    Learn More About The Disability Appeals Process

    If you have a hearing scheduled…

    If Social Security has notified you of an upcoming hearing, it's very important to be prepared. You are strongly encouraged to get legal representation.

    At The Packard Law Firm, Social Security disability law is our primary focus. Our local, experienced disability lawyers...

    • analyze your Social Security file
    • prepare your case
    • obtain important evidence
    • prepare your testimony
    • make helpful legal arguments before and during the hearing
    • question witnesses
    • cross-examine any medical and/or vocational experts who testify at your hearing

    Attending your Social Security hearing alone is risky. At The Packard Law Firm, we know which legal theories and fact patterns are most persuasive to the judges. We will meet with you before the hearing so you can be prepared to persuasively present your case.

    If you can’t work and you need Social Security disability benefits, Samuel Packard can help. As one of Texas’ only board certified Social Security disability specialists, he helps people in Texas win disability benefits. Contact our office to discuss your disability claim.

    Contact Us Today

    If all your appeals have been denied…

    You can still file an appeal in Federal Court. You’ll need an attorney to do this, and the Social Security disability lawyers at the Packard Law Firm has extensive experience in Federal Court. Not every denial is appropriate for a Federal appeal, but with a free consultation we’ll help you determine whether yours is.

    Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Case

  • Will the SSA Judge If I Am Disabled?

    Determining DisabilityJust because your doctor says you’re disabled, doesn’t mean that the Social Security Administration will grant you disability. It is a good idea to get a lawyer to argue your case for benefits and present the facts in the most persuasive way possible.

    Disability Case Levels

    The Social Security Administration judges if you are disabled on three main levels in a disability case.

    At the first two levels (the Initial Claim and Reconsideration), disability is determined by a Social Security Disability Examiner that works at a Disability Determination Service. The examiner is the person that reviews your medical records, information provided by your doctor, and any work history.

    At the third level (the hearing), an Administrative Law Judge will make this determination. The judge will read your cumulative Social Security file, which contains your medical records, work history, and reasons for your denial. He will also listen to your testimony and may question a medical or vocational expert to make a decision.

    To be considered disabled, the Social Security Administration has to decide that your medical conditions render you unable to maintain any substantial work, and isn’t expected to get better in the next year. Contact a Social Security disability lawyer at Packard Firm to learn about how we can help you.

  • Are You Required To Pay Back A Disability Overpayment?

    Sometimes Social Security pays people more benefits than they were supposed to. They call it overpayment. In most cases, the claimant (person who filed for benefits) must pay back the overpayment, but there are exceptions. For example, for some types of cases, the Social Security Administration will waive any attempt to recover overpayment if an individual is without fault and recovery would defeat the purpose of the supplemental security income program or SSI (CFR § 416.553).

    Appealing an Overpayment Notice

    You can file an appeal if you think you were not overpaid, or if you think the overpayment amount is incorrect. There is also a way to request paying back the overpayment at a rate you can afford. You will have 60 days to file an appeal saying that you were not overpaid after you've received the notice.

    Filing a Waiver

    In addition to an appeal, you can file a waiver. This is when you admit that you were overpaid but that it wasn't your fault and cannot afford to pay it back. There is no time limit to requesting a waiver.

    The Social Security Administration will probably ask for proof of income and expenses to prove that you can’t afford to pay back the overpayment. Otherwise, the overpayment could be taken over time from your monthly benefits, or federal income tax.

    If you’ve been contacted by the Social Security Administration about an overpayment, it is a time sensitive issue, so give us a call today or complete a contact form. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you file a waiver for your overpayment notice. 

     

  • Is there a time limit to file for SSI or SSDI?

    Yes. SSI benefits start accruing the first full month after you apply, so you lose money the longer you wait to apply for SSI. Since SSDI allows you to go back and get benefits for up to one year before the application date, there is less of a time limit. But, you should still apply as soon as possible once you become disabled. Also, for SSDI, you must (usually) become disabled no later than five years after you stop working fulltime. If you have questions about filing for disability, contact a Social Security disability lawyer today to learn about your options. 

  • What types of SSI or SSDI cases win?

    To win disability benefits (SSI or SSDI), Social Security must believe that your limitations stop you from being able to work full-time. There is no "best" type of case. Your chances of winning do go up significantly if you have a good medical history (or paper trail) from the time you are disabled. Also, the laws granting benefits are more favorable for people over the age of 50 who cannot do the type of work that they have previously done.

    Here is what the government finds most important:

    1. Medical Treatment: The kind of medical treatment you get is by far the number 1 factor in winning a disability claim. If I had to put a percentage on this, I would say 80% of the case depends on the medical treatment. The judges want to see medical treatment that is frequent, intense, and has continued over time.
      • The more frequent your treatment is (every week or month as opposed to once a month or quarter) the more likely you will win.
      • The more intense the treatment (surgery recommendations as opposed to general health and wellness checkups) the more likely you will win.
      • The longer your condition lasts the more likely you will win. Is this a problem that lasted a few months and then got better? Or is this a problem that has been going on for several years?
      • Note: The best type of case is when you have two or three of these together. I.e. very intense treatment, that requires frequent follow up appointments and that it has been going on several years.
    2. Work History: The judges love to see someone who has work history most of his or her life before becoming disabled. To the judge, this shows that the person wants to work when he or she is physically/mentally able.
    3. Organization: Your case can only be as good as your preparation. You have to make sure that all the government deadlines are met, forms are filled out, and medical evidence is submitted on time. The judge cannot know the truth without these records.
    4. Honorable mention: Be honest. Do not overstate your limitations. Do not underestimate them. Share as much information as possible with both your doctors and your judge. If the truth is that you cannot work, then embrace it.

    To know if your specific case has a good chance of winning, contact us for a free consultation. If you’d like help filling out the paperwork and want to be represented by an attorney, the attorneys at the Packard Law Firm would be glad to help.

  • What is considered "disabled"?

    To be considered disabled, individuals must have a medical or psychological condition that makes working difficult or even impossible. The applicant's impairment must have kept them from doing Substantial Gainful Activity over a 12 months period of time. Keep in mind that having symptoms is not enough. The applicant must have medical or psychological evidence (medical records) to prove to the Social Security Administration that the symptoms actually exist. If yo have further question, contact a Social Security disability lawyer today. 

  • How long does the process take?

    clock and calendarThe Social Security process is set up into three stages and each of these stages takes time.

    Initial application

    At the initial stage, the government will evaluate your financial background to determine if you meet the financial qualifiers. If you do, then your case is sent to Austin. There, they will ask you to fill out some forms about your work history and how your disability has affected your daily routine. After that, they will order your medical records (which takes anywhere between one and three months to obtain). Then the government will usually order a medical exam or two. Once this is done, the person making the decision will review all the evidence and make a decision. This process usually takes anywhere between 3-6 months.

    Reconsideration

    In this stage, like the name suggests, the government will reconsider your claim by a new employee. That employee is supposed to do an independent and complete review of the first decision. The problem is that most of the time they simply adopt the previous decision (around 90% of the time). This stage usually takes anywhere between 2-4 months

    Hearing with a judge

    When your Request for Reconsideration is denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal and ask to share your case with a judge. The judge will listen to your testimony and review all your medical records. The good news is that at this level, you have the greatest chance winning your case. The bad news is that there is a tremendous backlog. Most people have to wait around 15 months before they can get a date to meet with a judge.

    Throughout this process, it is incredibly important to keep three things in mind.

    • Do not give up.
    • Get medical treatment for your disabilities.
    • Make sure that all your medical records have been given to the Social Security Administration.

    In summary, a person can win at any one of these stages. Some win in just a few months while others go through all three stages and wait over two years. For the best shot at obtain benefits, consult with a Social Security disability lawyer today.