Cindy: Hi, I’m Cindy Speaker, and I’m talking today with David Daggett of the North Carolina law firm of Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. David and his law partner, Griff Schuler, have recently written a book about Social Security Disability Law. So David, thanks for being with us today.
David: Thanks for having me, Cindy.
Cindy: Well, David, Social…
David: Finally, this is the first time I’ve come here, you’ve had good weather.
Cindy: Yeah, I know. We do have good weather but just today. Yesterday wasn’t that great, but tell us a little bit about why you wrote this book.
David: Sure. Social Security Disability Law is a little bit more complex than just filling out your application and getting benefits. It’s more complicated than that. And when somebody is disabled and unable to work, they need to be able to provide for themselves and their family. It’s just basic security and what this book does is walks you through the entire process from what happens after you disabled, filing the first application, the appeals and all that sort of thing, so you know how your claim is handled.
Cindy: That’s fantastic. Now, do you recommend…what do you recommend in terms of a lawyer? Is it helpful to have a lawyer?
David: Well, here’s the problem. In North Carolina, these statistics are available nationwide for each jurisdiction that North Carolina over 70% of applications are denied. And…
David: Yeah. So your odds of being successful you’re so scared your disability claim, are a lot. Yeah, those odds go up when you have a lawyer involved in the case. Now, and the lawyer doesn’t get paid out of anything you’re getting, so it doesn’t take part of your checks, doesn’t take anything like that. The lawyers fee is based on a percentage, and it’s a percentage of the past benefits, and it’s regulated in limited by the Social Security Administration. The good news is it doesn’t cost you anything to have a lawyer and doesn’t take anything out of your ongoing benefits to have a lawyer. So in a way, you kind of have your cake and eat it too. I think it’s a good idea to have a lawyer.
Cindy: Are you doing something that you do that a lot of firms don’t? Is you have lawyers and not paralegals because I know a lot of firms, the paralegals do work these cases but you’re using actual lawyers that are doing this.
David: That’s right. One thing that people don’t know. And you see ads on TV for it, for Social Security Disability representation.
David: If they don’t say lawyers, they might not be lawyers because you don’t have to be a lawyer to go into court before the Social Security Administration. Now, our strong belief is you have a much better chance if you have a lawyer on your side. You have a much better chance if you have a Board Certified Specialist on your side. John Koontz in our firm, is terrific. He’s a Board Certified Specialist. But it’s our belief that puts you in a better position than having a non-lawyer go to court with you.
David: Or a paralegal go to court with you. Having an actual lawyer, we believe gives you greater odds of success in your claim.
Cindy: Yeah. That’s fantastic. I want to ask you one more thing about Social Security Disability. How is it trending in terms of are there more claims less claims? What does that landscape like for people that are trying to apply and how is it changed?
David: Well, the landscape has changed on both of those aspects that there are more claims, and it’s getting more difficult. There’s in the news and it’s frustrating for me. Probably is for you too. All this talk and bickering and fighting over the budget. Well, there’s different areas where individuals, good hard everyday working people, get caught in the cross hairs. Social Security is one of those, is it appears that the Social Security Administration is tightening up on benefits which I believe makes even more important that you have good representation…
David: …when you’re going on your claim.
Cindy: Yeah, that makes sense.
David: That’s a long-winded answer but…
Cindy: Yeah, you’re right. Yeah.
David: I gave a little personal opinion.
Cindy: Yeah. That’s good. You’re allowed to do that.
David: Hope that’s…Okay. I hope that’s okay.
Cindy: And I’m going to give a little personal opinion. You guys are top notch. You can’t say that. I know it. So thank you so much for your time.
David: Thanks for having me today.
Cindy: Where can I get the book?
David: They can get it online, they can get it on our website. They can call our office, and it’s free.
Cindy: Okay. Great. Thank you so much.
David: Thank you.
Cindy: This is a Cyndy Speaker for StateLawTV.