How a Disability Attorney Helps Your Claim Succeed

by Vaughn Clauson on January 18, 2017

Filing a disability claim without the expertise of an attorney is a lot like trying to sell your house without a real estate agent. It is possible for it to work, but the odds are not in your favor. But the difference is that you can always get a real estate agent if you don’t succeed selling your home yourself. If you go through the disability process and are unsuccessful, the chances of you getting a second chance to present your case are very rare.

How a Disability Attorney Helps Your Claim Succeed

Filing for disability without an attorney means you are going to have to get up-to-speed on the complex process, legal jargon and the nuances that can result in the success or failure of your applications. More than 70% of disability claims are denied making it even more important that you have competent legal counsel who will advocate for you and knows the best way to navigate through the process.

There are four stages of appeal to the disability process: reconsideration (which usually results in denial), an administrative hearing, an appeals council review and federal court.

Frequently just gathering the right evidence to present to the appeal judge can be critical in your cases chances of success. It can be more complex than just getting your doctor’s file and handing it over to a judge. There may be part of your file that does not show your case in its best possible light that you should not present to the judge. It is not a “one size fits all” situation. A qualified attorney who has been through the process many times will be able to take the particulars of your situation and present them effectively.

The administrative hearing is next and this usually takes about 18 months. The hearing will take place before an Administrative Law Judge. You may need to present witnesses on your behalf. Legal counsel will be able to prepare these witnesses for what will happen when they are in front of the judge. If a witness is not properly prepared, the entire case can be destroyed.

An experienced attorney may also discover that your physician has left out important documents that should be presented. This is critically important because the judge will not only review them, but will also forward them to a vocational expert who has been hired by the Social Security Administration to go over your records. This expert will review your vocational history and provide an opinion to the judge on if your disability should be approved.

Should your appeal be denied at the Administrative Hearing, the next stage in the process is filing an appeal with the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council must complete a review of your claim before your case can be submitted to the United States District Court. An attorney who has presented cases before the council or the court will be invaluable to you.

Filing a disability claim can be a life altering financial decision for you and your family. You should not undertake such a serious endeavor without qualified legal representation.


Why Was I Denied Disability in North Carolina?

by Vaughn Clauson on January 12, 2017

One who has applied for disability in North Carolina will either be approved or denied. If you are one who has applied and been approved, congratulations! If you are one of the many who have been denied, you start to ask the number one question, Why?

Why were you denied disability in North Carolina? The main reason most people are denied is they do not have the proper medical evidence for a case manager to approve their disability request. When you first become disabled, it is imperative you maintain any and all of your medical records, physcian’s prescribed therapies and any additional evidence to approve your case. This will go a long way in determining your approval.

Denied Disability in North Carolina

Another reason many people are denied disability is they may not meet the criteria set in place to approve your case. Disability benefits can be confusing. The process can be frustrating. You may still be able to work and still are denied. The best thing one can do is consult with one of the attorneys at Clauson Law Firm. Clauson Law Firm will review your Social Security disability case for free. We are here to help you. Please contact us through our website

If you are denied, do not give up. Many people only apply once and are denied. Do not make the mistake of not using the ability to appeal the denial of the disability benefits. If your appeal is denied you still have the option of appealing the decision again. you may qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) instead of SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) An attorney at Clauson Law Firm is here to help you in your process.

People who have worked a number of years know you have a certain part of your paycheck which goes towards your social security benefits. Disability benefit qualifications vary compared to retirement benefits. Every year a person works they earn a maximum of 4 credits towards social security and disability benefits. In 2016 a person will earn 1 credit for every $1,260 dollars of net earnings. Retirement benefits will be awarded when a person accumulates 40 credits or 10 years of work. Disability benefits are different and are determined based on how old the person is when they became disabled.

Here is an age guide for what age you became disabled, the number of credits needed and the years of work needed. This also can be found at


31 through 42    20                               5

44                       22                               5 ½

46                      24                               6

48                      26                               6 ½

50                        28                               7

52                       30                               7 ½

54                       32                               8

56                       34                               8 ½

58                       36                               9

60                       38                               9 ½

62 or older          40                            10

Clauson Law Firm is here to assist you with your disability case. Please contact us for a free review of your case. We have attorneys in several areas of North Carolina to meet with you as needed.


How to Choose the Right Disability Attorney

by Vaughn Clauson on December 28, 2016

If you are considering filing for disability, then you owe it to yourself to hire legal representation. Although the law is fairly clear concerning what does and does not constitute disability, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a difficult and confusing process. Having an attorney present and on your side can help make your journey through the muddled legal process a much easier one, resulting in less stress for you, as well as a generally much quicker response time, allowing you to get the money you need and deserve sooner rather than later. The good news is that the fees an attorney is allowed to collect for such a case are regulated, so you don’t have to worry about the best lawyers coming at a high price; you are free instead to seek out an attorney based on the highest qualifications, rather than the easiest budget! So, if you’re looking for legal representation, here are some things to consider:

Disability Attorney


The first thing you need to do is find out how much experience your prospective attorney has. Is it an old, established law firm with a reputation for success? Or is it a guy fresh out of law school working out of the trunk of his car? While that guy might know the law, a lack of experience can mean headache and hassle on your end, and when you are already dealing with a disability, the less hassle, the better!


The next thing you need to do is find out about the firm itself. In addition to the experience of the attorney him/herself, you need to look at the rest of the staff. Does your future attorney have significant manpower in place to help with your case, or is it a one-man show? Is he or she bogged down by other cases because the workload is too much, and there aren’t enough people to help? This not only affects the quality of the work you get, but it also affects the timeliness in things like filing appeals. Because you’re already dealing with the SSA–an agency not generally known for its speedy processing time–the last thing you need is a well-meaning attorney who simply doesn’t have the time to devote to your particular case.

Previous Client Reviews

Finally, you should see what other people have to say about your prospective attorney. All of the experience and staff in the world can not make up for an attorney that does substandard work, and really the only way to know if that is the case or not is by seeing what other people have to say. So, don’t be afraid to read online reviews, talk to former clients, or ask around. Good (and bad) attorneys quickly develop a reputation, and that reputation should go a long way in helping you decide which attorney is ultimately right for you and your situation.

So, as you start to weed through the morass of regulations that is the Social Security Administration, remember that the journey can be much easier with the right wingman. By doing a little research, you can be sure that you have found the attorney that will work to help you get your claims finished as quickly and pain-free as possible.


Annually, statistics show that almost 800,000 people in the United States will suffer a stroke. Roughly 25% of these will be suffering their second or third stroke, while the remaining ¾’s will be experiencing their first. Stroke is one of the most common causes for long-term disability and loss of various bodily functions.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Regardless of whether it is your first time, or if you’ve become impaired as a result of several attacks, you can likely qualify for disability benefits after your stroke with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Most cases of strokes occur in those already over the age of 65, the age of retirement, however, about 1 in 4 people who have suffered a stroke are under that age, and face significant difficulties with an inability to work. In addition, the hospital bills are significant, your cost of living is going to hike up, and you’ll find that many of even your daily activities are now much more difficult.

Applying for disability after your stroke is a smart way to help alleviate the incoming financial burden. It won’t eliminate all of the difficulties of having a stroke, but will allow you to keep your head above water and focus on recovery and improving your quality of life.

However, when applying for disability benefits after having a stroke, your processing will tend to go differently than most other cases due to the nature of strokes. This is because the long-term effects of a stroke cannot be determined until about 3 months after the strokes occurrence, and the SSA delays claims until at least that period is over.

Following the guidelines of the SSA’s blue book, in order for one to qualify for disability, the stroke must have caused you to lose your ability to speak and/or write effectively, or caused the inability to move at least two of your extremities in a coordinated fashion.

If these two conditions are not met, you can also apply based on a significant loss of vision, although you have to file your claim a bit differently as a blindness claim.
Lastly, if the effects of your stroke don’t satisfy these different requirements, you can apply for benefits through a ‘medical-vocational allowance’. Effectively, this is a claim saying that the stroke as affected you significantly enough that you cannot return to your past work and that you are unable to perform any other suitable work. This takes into account the types of jobs you’ve held previously, what kind of work you would need to be able to perform in order to support yourself and your family, and also your age.

To learn more about how to apply for disability benefits or medical-vocational allowance claims, visit our website.


How Do I Apply for North Carolina Social Security Online?

December 2, 2016

The North Carolina Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits to those with medical conditions which limit the ability to work. With conditions expected to last at least one year or result in death, benefits provide supplemental income to ease the […]

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Why You Should Seek Medical Care after an Accident

November 16, 2016

Car accidents are nothing to joke about. Even the smallest of fender benders can have some dangerous effects that you may not have initially felt. Therefore, it is vital that you go get yourself checked immediately following an accident. Medical […]

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How to Receive Disability for Autistic Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders

October 27, 2016

Autistic disorder is a development disorder that is eligible for receiving benefits, as long as one meets their requirements. Autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders are defined as qualitative deficits in the development of reciprocal social interaction. It includes […]

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What is a CDR and in a SSD case?

July 6, 2016

If you are an SSI or SSDI recipient, then you already are aware that the Social Security Administration will review your disability eligibility on a regular basis. Disability Attorney in NC advises that the Continuing Disability Review (CDR) usually occurs […]

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Disability Denial Statistics Everyone Should Know

July 5, 2016

When you’ve been denied disability in North Carolina, it can be difficult not to lose hope. After all, you’re probably relying on disability benefits to help get you through an injury or illness that is preventing you from working, and […]

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Reviewing SSDI and SSI Cases for Diabetes

March 13, 2015

While some diabetics are able to control their diabetes and lead productive and healthy work lives, other patients can develop complications from the disease. Because of the complications, they may meet the qualifications established for claiming diabetes as a disability. […]

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