Frequently asked questions
Social Security Disability
Do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
If you have physical or mental diagnoses which prevent you from being able to work full time, and you have paid into the system through your payroll every paycheck, then you are entitled to benefits.
Can I afford an attorney?
We only keep a fee if we win, and the fee comes from back-pay, or money Social Security owes you from the past. No fee comes from your monthly benefit going forward. Social Security regulates the fee, and withholds the fee from past due benefits so you will never receive a bill. The current maximum allowed by the Social Security Administration is 25% of past due benefits or $6000, whichever is less.
I saw an ad with a 1-800 number, should I call?
A local attorney will meet with you in person, work with your doctors and other members of the community to get the necessary evidence for your case, and represent you in front of local judges. Many of the “800 number law firms” don’t do any of that. Many times you don’t even speak to or meet an actual attorney until the day of your hearing.
I’ve been denied, what should I do?
Don’t get discouraged- the vast majority of claims are denied in the beginning. The Social Security Administration processes thousands of applications, and if everything isn’t perfect the first time around, you will be denied. You only have 60 days to appeal that decision, so call us within the 60 day time frame to appeal.
I haven’t heard anything, why is it taking so long?
While the process can take 18 months from application date to hearing date, all cases do not take that long. There are some situations where we can request to have your claim expedited, and having an Attorney advocating for you can help speed up the process.
The doctors aren’t helping me, should I continue to pay for visits?
You need medical records to support your claim. However, if you are stuck in a “rut” with your physician, it never hurts to get a second opinion. We can help you find a doctor that works for you.
How much money will I get?
The amount varies depending on how much you paid in. The Social Security Administration has a complicated formula to determine the exact amount. You can create an account and have access to these numbers at: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/
Do I need an attorney or can I handle this myself?
Insurance companies have one goal: profit. This means paying you the least amount possible. In some cases, the law requires the insurance company to pay your attorney’s fees. If you have been injured and you think someone else may be to blame, call us to make sure you get the just compensation you will require long term. You have nothing to lose with our free consultation, and potentially everything to gain.
Have you been injured and aren’t sure you have a claim?
Call for a free consultation. Don’t argue with an insurance company on your own, and first and foremost, DO NOT Sign anything without speaking to an attorney first!! There can be a time limit, so call now.
If you have been injured, you need to be focused on getting better, whatever it takes. You don’t need the stress of dealing with an insurance company pressuring you to settle for less than you are due. These are very stressful situations, let us deal with the Insurance company while you recover.
An insurance company keeps contacting me and I am confused. What do I do?
Wrongful death is an Injury that results in death, based on another party’s negligence or recklessness. If you have lost a loved one, we know that words cannot explain what you are going through. We can help you decide if you want to bring a lawsuit or insurance claim based on your loss. We will help by dealing with the financial aspect of your loss, while you focus on healing and being with family.
What is Wrongful Death?
By law, insurance companies are required to provide the coverage stipulated within your policy (that is what your premiums are for). They are required to thoroughly and quickly process claims, deal with you in good faith, and pay you for your losses. Unfortunately, too often, we are disappointed by insurance companies. In many cases, the company will, as my Dad used to say, “straighten up,” when an attorney comes on board. If they don’t, we can take them to court. Call now for a free consultation to make sure you are being treated fairly.
I am the policy-holder, do I have to sue my own insurance company to get my claim paid?
There are no up-front costs or “retainers,” and we only get paid if we win. In most cases, a percentage of your settlement will go towards your attorney’s fees. Medical records costs, court filing costs, and expert’s fees may be required in addition to attorney’s fees. We will discuss all of this in detail and it will be put into writing for your records. Any costs will be fully discussed, there will be on “surprises.”
How much does an attorney cost?
Everyone’s situation is different. If you were in an Automobile collision, your policy may provide coverage called Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. You may have to use your own health insurance for now, and pay them back when you receive a settlement. This can be a “catch 22” because you need medical care, both to recover and to prove your claim, but you cannot afford it. We will help you work through these issue and discuss your options.
How do I pay my medical bills in the meantime?
Find your Veteran’s Affairs Office: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp
Oregon Health Plan: http://healthcare.oregon.gov/Pages/apply.aspx
Washington State Healthcare Authority: https://www.hca.wa.gov/free-or-low-cost-health-care/apple-health-medicaid-coverage
Food Insecurity: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply
Oregon Resources: http://211info.org/
Washington Housing: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/housing-assistance
Klickitat County Resources: https://sites.ewu.edu/ewahec/files/2016/05/Klickitat-County-Res