Social Security Disability
If you suffer from a physical or emotional condition that prevents you from working full-time and are under the age of 65, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If your child or dependant suffers from a physical or emotional condition that is affecting his/her schoolwork or development, then he/she too may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If you have not already filed an application for disability benefits, contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and do so now.
If you have already applied and been turned down, contact us! We can help!
For a general review of your case over the phone, by e-mail or fax, please contact James W. Ezzell with the law firm of Bond, Botes, Sykstus, Tanner & Ezzell, P.C., located in the cities of Huntsville, Decatur and Florence, Alabama.
In Alabama, with the help of an attorney, over half of the applications for disability benefits that Social Security initially denies are approved on appeal.
We will work with both you and your doctors to develop your case and provide Social Security with the information it needs to award you the benefits you deserve.
We may even be able to fast track your claim depending upon the severity of your medical condition or economic situation.
Mr. Ezzell will evaluate your appeal and, if he believes you qualify, handle the case himself or refer it to one of the other Bond and Botes offices near you.
If you write, e-mail or fax Mr. Ezzell, please describe in detail the physical or emotional condition that has disabled you and enclose a copy of all pertinent medical records you have describing your situation. Send COPIES ONLY and keep all originals for your own file. Mr. Ezzell will then review your case and get back with you shortly.
This is a free consultation and there is no obligation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if I am disabled enough to apply for Social Security disability benefits?
Simply put, if you suffer from a physical or emotional condition that prevents you from working fulltime and are under the age of 65, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. If your child or dependant suffers from a physical or emotional condition that is affecting his/her schoolwork or development, then he/she also may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
SSA makes it easier to be found disabled as you grow older. It becomes easier for a few people at age 45, for more people at age 50 and for most people at age 55.
You don’t have to be bedridden, even if you’re a younger person, to be eligible for disability benefits. If you’re under age 45 and you cannot do your past work or any other work you may still be eligible for disability benefits despite your youth.
Unfortunately, being unable to work and being found “disabled” by SSA are two different things. It is often difficult to convince SSA that someone is “disabled” even when he/she genuinely cannot work.
But it is not impossible.
If you cannot work, apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you are turned down, file your appeal immediately and continue to appeal any subsequent denials until at least the hearing stage.
How do I apply for Social Security (both DIB and SSI) disability benefits?
Telephone SSA at 1-800-772-1213. When you call, you will be given the option of 1) going to the Social Security office to apply for benefits or 2) having your application taken over the telephone. If you choose to go to the Social Security office, the person at the 800 number will schedule an appointment for you and give you directions to the Social Security office. If you want to apply by phone, you will be given a date and an approximate time to expect a phone call from someone at the Social Security office who will take your application.
Do you have any advice about applying for Social Security disability benefits?
Yes. Give SSA all the information it asks for in a straightforward way. Be truthful. Do not exaggerate or minimize your disability.
Should I contact a lawyer to help me apply for Social Security disability benefits?
Generally, a person does not need a lawyer’s help to file the initial application for disability benefits. SSA makes that part very easy. After the application is filed, however, a lawyer’s help may make a difference between winning and losing even at this early stage.
What happens if I am denied Social Security disability benefits and I do not appeal within 60 days?
Unless you have a good reason for missing the deadline to appeal, you will have to start over with a new application — and it may mean that you will lose some past-due disability benefits. It is important to appeal all denials within the 60 days allowed. It is better if you appeal right away so that you get through the bureaucratic denial system faster. The quicker you can get to the hearing stage the better.
How do I appeal?
There are a number of ways to appeal your denial:
- Retain us and we will handle everything.
- Telephone SSA and make arrangements for your appeal to be handled by phone or mail.
- Go to the Social Security office to submit your appeal. Make sure to take a copy of your denial letter.
Your denial letter should briefly detail each of these options.
What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get Social Security disability benefits?
Failing to appeal. More than half the people whose applications are denied fail to appeal.
Another mistake, although much less common, is made by people who fail to obtain appropriate medical care. Some people with long-term chronic medical problems feel that they have not been helped much by doctors. Thus for the most part, they stop going in for treatment. This is a mistake for both medical and legal reasons. First, no one needs good medical care more than those with chronic medical problems. Second, medical treatment records provide the most important evidence of disability in a Social Security disability benefits case.
When should I contact you about representing me?
Generally, we encourage people to wait until their application has been denied before retaining us.
For some people, however, the paperwork is just too much to handle on their own and we are happy to step in at the earliest stages of the process, even before an actual denial has been handed down.
It is up to you to decide whether to contact us when you first apply or wait until you are denied. We will be happy to help in either case.
How much do you charge?
By law the usual attorney fee is 25% of the past-due Social Security disability benefits you would have received had you been awarded them at the initial application stage, up to a maximum of $6,000.00.
It is important to note this attorney fee is paid by SSA, and only then if we win your case. It does not come out of your pocket.
Although the usual attorney fee will not normally exceed $6,000.00, if we have to appeal your case beyond the administrative process, for example to U.S. District Court, the law allows attorney fees in excess of the $6,000.00 limit to reflect the additional work required.
But again, the attorney fee will still be paid by SSA from your past-due Social Security disability benefits lump sum, not out of your pocket. Moreover, under no circumstances do attorney fees ever come out of your current or future monthly benefits.
You will, however, be expected to pay directly the expenses generated gathering your medical records, obtaining medical source opinion letters, etc. SSA will not pay these expenses.
If I have any other questions, will you answer them by telephone?
Yes, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Contact Us Today!
Attorney James W. Ezzell - Send James a message
225 Pratt Avenue Northeast
Huntsville, AL 35801
Attorney Robert D Reese - Send Robert a message
600 University Park Place, Suite 510
Birmingham AL 35209