Why hire a lawyer?
Kirsch & Clark can help you at any stage of the process of getting disability benefits. Our application expert can help you submit a thorough application for benefits. We can appeal denials and make sure your record is complete. A lawyer is especially helpful if you are denied twice and must appear at a hearing. At this point, being represented by a lawyer can significantly increase your chances of winning your claim. Mr. Clark wins the large majority of his cases.
Kirsch & Clark is diligent in preparing for hearings. We appeal denials as long as there is a reasonable chance of winning. We accept any case we believe has a chance of winning. We often take cases, and win, after other lawyers have turned the client away.
Why shouldn’t I get representation from a national firm that I have heard about on the TV, radio, or internet?
National firms do not regularly appear before the judges who will hear your case. They do not have established relationships with the doctors in your area. Because of distance, your interaction with your lawyer from a national firm may only be by telephone or email until the day of your hearing.
In contrast, Mr. Clark regularly appears before the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ’s) in the Spokane hearing office (which serves north Idaho from Riggins north and Eastern Washington. Hiring Kirsch & Clark will not cost you any more money than a national firm will. Almost all representatives handling Social Security cases charge the fee mandated by law, which at present is the lesser of 25% of past-due benefits or $7,200.
Is it a problem if I live in a different city than where Kirsch & Clark is located?
We regularly serve clients in Grangeville, Orofino, Stites, Kamiah, Kooskia, Lapwai, Lewiston, Clarkston, Genesee, Troy, Moscow, Pullman, Colfax, Potlatch, St. Maries, St. Johns, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, and Kellogg, and all the small towns in between. We use the phone, text, email, and U.S. mail to maintain contact. Mr. Clark will meet with you at least once, face-to-face if circumstances allow, prior to your hearing. Clients find this visit is well worth the trip.
Specifically, what do Kirsch & Clark do to help my case?
Kirsch & Clark review your case to make sure all of the evidence available is part of the file. While we are waiting for your hearing, we develop your case. You will receive copies of all of our correspondence regarding your claim. Kirsch & Clark will collect and submit medical and/or counseling records as evidence, occasionally set up a consultative visit with a doctor, and frequently send questions to your doctor or counselor asking them to put what they know about your disability into terms that the Social Security Administration understands. Because Mr. Clark knows the rules that determine who is disabled, he is able to present the evidence in a way that is understood by the ALJ. Your attorney will prepare a written memo (or “brief”) for the judge regarding your case and will attend the hearing with you to argue your case before the ALJ.
Kirsch & Clark regularly appeal unfavorable hearing decisions to the Appeals Council. Occasionally, we take cases to Federal Court if we believe the Social Security Administration has not followed the law and the evidence is strong.
Can a lawyer speed up the disability process?
The main benefit of getting a lawyer is to increase your chances of winning your case. A lawyer can increase the chances of you winning earlier by working to make your file complete. But, once denied, a lawyer cannot generally speed up the time you must wait for a hearing. Hearings are scheduled for the oldest cases first, whether or not a lawyer represents the individual. Occasionally, a lawyer can help resolve problems that might delay the hearing more. In the appropriate case, a lawyer can obtain an “on-the-record” decision prior to a hearing.
What can I do to help my claim?
- One of the most important things you can do is to continue to seek mental health and/or medical care for your disabling conditions. If you are not able to afford this care, call us to get some ideas about low-cost options.
- Keep us informed about changes in your health condition, and about your doctor and counseling visits, and changes in your medications. You can update us from this website.
- Tell us immediately if you return to work or earn any money from work activity. Specifically, keep track of hours, money earned (even if paid in cash), duties performed, problems you had doing the work, and any assistance you received.
- Continue to complete promptly any forms the Social Security Administration will send you and deal courteously with them.
- Do not use illegal drugs, abuse alcohol or misuse prescription drugs. Seek help from a medical professional immediately if you have an addiction or are using these substances to reduce physical pain or deal with a personal problem. Drug abuse and alcoholism create significant problems in a disability claim.