and Claims FAQ

The Law Offices of Michael Hartup answers some frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability claims in Tennessee.

I can’t work and have no income to hire a lawyer. How does an attorney get paid for representing me?

The Law Offices of Michael Hartup represents you on a contingent-fee agreement. That means we only get paid an attorney fee if we win your case. The fee is a percentage of the back benefits that you are entitled to when you are awarded benefits. It does not impact your future monthly benefits. It is paid directly by the Social Security Administration and must be approved by the Administration. If we don’t win your case, there is no attorney fee. COURT COSTS AND CASE EXPENSES WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLIENT.

Do I have to have an attorney?

No, you do not need a lawyer to file a Social Security Disability claim or appeal a denied claim. But working with an experienced disability attorney has advantages.

What can an attorney do for me?

In addition to having knowledge and understanding of the Social Security Disability rules and regulations, an attorney should assist you in communicating with Social Security; understanding and completing the multiple forms that the Administration sends you; gather the evidence necessary to prove your claim; appear with you at interviews, conferences, and hearings as necessary; and argue your case to adjudicators. In certain cases, an attorney can also write what is known as an On the Record (OTR) request to the judge, asking that the claim be approved without going to a hearing.

When is the best time to get a lawyer?

Although you will likely have to have a hearing on your case, for the reasons stated in What can an attorney do for me?, it is probably best to get a lawyer working for you as soon in the claims process as possible. The Law Offices of Michael Hartup accepts clients at all levels of the claims and appeals process.

How can I get more information about representation?

Call our Jackson, Tennessee, office at 731-424-5559. We will be happy to answer any questions that you have. If you prefer, you can also contact us online.

How long does the process take?

Unfortunately, the Social Security disability claims process can be lengthy. If the Social Security Administration denies your initial application you can probably expect to wait at least a year or more for a final determination on your case.

Why does it take so long to get approved?

The process takes so long because of the large backlog of Social Security disability claims waiting to be adjudicated. Currently, it takes our local hearing offices (Memphis, Franklin, and Nashville) an average of 387 days to process an appeal. Only in limited circumstances can an attorney speed that process up for you.

The Law Offices of Michael Hartup offers knowledgeable, personalized assistance in filing Social Security Disability applications and appealing denied applications through our office in Jackson, Tennessee. To learn how we may be able to help you, please contact us today.