About Citizens Disability

Did you just watch a TV ad for Citizens Disability hosted by Alan Thicke? If so, you probably already know how frustrating the Social Security Disability process can be, and you’re looking for assistance. With this in mind, Citizens Disability claims that they can help you navigate the complex and often confusing process of obtaining disability benefits, including filing paperwork and attending hearings, while putting their decades of experience litigating Social Security claims to work for you.

But when it comes down to it, will Citizens Disability really be actively involved in your Social Security Disability claim? And if so, do the services they provide offer a good value for your money? We decided to put these claims to the test, and here’s what we found.

How Citizens Disability Works

According to the Citizens Disability website, the Social Security Administration receives hundreds of thousands of applications each month, which often means that you and your problems can become nothing but a case number.

However, instead of attempting to navigate all the hearings, paperwork, and beaurocracy associated with filing for disability benefits by yourself, Citizens Disability claims that they’ll match you with a disability advocate who can help evaluate your situation, handle your application, and deal with the Social Security agency on your behalf. And by putting their knowledge and decades of experience to work for you, they can help keep you in compliance and fully informed throughout the process (more about this in the Consumers section).

As such, with their goal of being “the nation's leading social justice advocacy group,” Citizens Disability claims that thy can help with both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims related to "Medically Determinable Impairment" across all four stages, including:

  • Initial Application – After all your information is gathered and your SSDI application is complete, it will then be filed with your local SSA office. At this point, your application will be reviewed by the SSA to verify your work history, while the State Disability Determination Service will decide your disability level. Citizens Disability claims that your application can be denied for a variety of reasons, including earning too much money during the previous year, a lack of medical evidence, and paperwork that was incorrectly filed.
  • Reconsideration – If your SSDI application is denied based on the above, Citizens Disability will file an appeal. Between these first two steps, a period of 5-7 months could pass.
  • ALJ Hearing – At this point, you and your Citizens Disability advocate will go before a judge to discuss why you’re unable to work. Within 6 months of this court date, you’ll receive a decision. If your claim is denied during this phase, you can either file a complaint in Federal Court or file a new application and begin from square one again.
  • Appeals Council – If you filed a complaint based on the judge’s decision in the previous step, an Administrative Law Judge will review this decision and either reverse or uphold it. Between these last two steps, a period of 12-18 months could pass.

Citizens Disability Pricing

Citizens Disability claims that your initial client evaluation is completely free and comes without risk or obligation. In fact, Citizens Disability only gets paid once your case is won, at which point they’ll collect 25% of the accrued benefit amount, up to $6,000.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Citizens Disability?

Online customer reviews for Citizens United appear to be primarily negative, with the most common complaints referencing:

  • Poor customer service (rude staff, numerous unreturned phone calls, infrequent case updates, failure to send withdrawal letters to the SS administration, etc.).
  • Persistent, repeated phone calls after an individual has requested additional information about the services provided by Citizens Disability.

What’s the Bottom Line About Citizens Disability?

With such a wide variety of Social Security Disability claim types and circumstances surrounding them, it’s difficult to say whether or not Citizens Disability can assist you with your claim—and even if they can, whether or not their services will ultimately be beneficial. With this said, consider the following:

According to this article, the average monthly SSDI check in 2014 is $1,148, which amounts to roughly $14K per year. As such, let’s assume that Citizens Disability helps you win your case, and that your monthly check meets the average payout. This means that they’ll take their 25% fee, which in this example would amount to about $3,500 for the year, or $287 from each of your monthly checks. While the company may have ultimately helped you obtain SSDI benefits in the first place, which is certainly better than the alternative, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to gauge the level of value they provide.

On top of this, Citizens Disability appears to have an online reputation for difficult customer service, which may further decrease the value provided by their services.

Bottom line: If you’re in need of help navigating the SSDI application process, be sure to fully weigh all your options before signing over 25% of your much-needed benefits, as there may be more effective/less expensive options than Citizens Disability.

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36 Customer Reviews for Citizens Disability

Average Customer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 10 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  23
Bottom Line: 31% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 36
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    They weren't very helpful

    • Staten Island, NY,
    • Aug 29, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    These people don't help you with your claim. I had to constantly call to get an update and when I got denied they refuse to appeal. I wouldn't advise anyone to hire them, and I regret contacting them. I've wasted two and a half years to get denied because they couldn't do their job. Please do your research before viewing a good lawyer. I wouldn't advise anyone to use these lawyers at all. Research and check reviews and use a good lawyer for your case.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    What a joke

    • Reed City, MI,
    • Aug 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    These people are a joke. They gave me an approximate date for a hearing when they took my case, which was 13 months away. Three months after that date, I call them and ask them when is my court date as it's three months past they said it would be. And why haven't I gotten a court date yet? They said they don't set the schedule, and have nothing to do with the court dates.

    Tell me if I'm wrong, but if you make a court date, you are on the docket and have a court date, correct?

    I threatened to seek help from another firm if I didn't have a date within 24 hours. In less than an hour, I received a call and an email (and in a few days a letter in the mail) with a definite date. All of a sudden when the possibility of losing my case to another firm, they manufacture a court date almost instantly? This leads me to believe they were not actively working on my claim at all. I'm just letting it sit to take up time so they can take a bigger piece of my pie.

    They make you sign a 25% fee waiver. I'm not sure, but I think it must remove the cap that is set by the Social Security Administration. This is the paperwork my attorney at the hearing was so adamant to get me to sign before the hearing.

    Now, all of a sudden, they over whelm me with paper work they want done. Why wasn't this all taken care of during the 16 months from when they took the case? Again, this leads me to believe they have not been actively working on my case. And it was not medical records as I have been reporting that on a regular basis.

    So, here we are, court day. They tell me to be there one hour early to review my case with my attorney (only they know who he is, I have no clue). Not only is he late to meet with me, he is 20 minutes late for the hearing time. That is one hour, 20 minutes total late. The Judge is wanting to get started. All my attorney wants me to do sign papers for Citizens Disability 25% piece of my pie. No case review because this kid is almost one and half hours late!

    We go into the hearing. My young, right out of college attorney smells like booze, although he tries to cover it up with cologne. The judge asks me all kinds of questions to help my case while my hung over attorney sits there with his head up his ass. Don't take my word for it, the transcripts from the hearing will tell it all.

    Of course, Citizens pays my attorney no matter what, so what does he care. I'm sure he never even looked at my case prior to arriving at the court room. Of course, I end up losing my case. Surprised? Hardly! Now, Citizens won't answer my calls or emails.

    I'm trying to seek help from other firms. But, no firm want's to clean up after Citizens Disability. So I guess my next appeal I will be dealing with on my own.

    I would report Citizens Disability to BBB, but I have paid them nothing, so nothing to gain there. I would report my hung over, late, unprepared attorney to the BAR, but I have no paper work with his name on it, so I have no idea who he is!

    Luckily, a friend gave me a link to this site, where I am happy to give my review and advice.

    My review? 0 out of 10!

    My advice? Stay away from these people. They are NOT on your side! You will not know who your attorney is that is supposed to handle your case. You will NOT have any contact with an attorney prior to your court date. He is paid regardless of the outcome of your case, so there is no incentive for the attorney to be properly prepared to support you in court for your disability case. You will be on your own in court.

    Like I said, don't take my word for it. The transcripts of my case tell a grim story of how these people represent you.

    I had to give them one star because a zero star option was not available!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Very quick on returning calls and giving me info I ask for

    I am going through Citizens Disability right since 2013 late in the year, but they have been very well mannered. They return calls promptly, and they give me any answers I ask about. They are very persistent on pushing to get me in, and it does take time, so it's not their fault, it is the Social Security office that lags here due to the lack of disability judges. It's not Citizens fault. They have given me everything I need and to hear when I ask them.

    One of the best that I've found is if I win then great, if not, they did their best as it's up to Social Security to make a decision on who wins not the advocates, but they do push as hard as they can. I have tons of faith in them. I trust them.

    The last advocate with me from another firm had told me after my appeal if I would have tried killing myself twice in a year, it would've been a win for sure. I fired him right there and told him to jump off a bridge and don't even think of sending me a bill. They had the nerve to send me a $15.00 bill for whatever reason, and I sent it back stating I will not pay this as my advocate said what he said so keep this and pay for it yourselves. I wish I could mention who they are, but I can't. But watch who is fake.

    I believe in Citizens for they have helped me more than I can imagine. I don't blame them for my wait for appeal because in Michigan we lost a lot of judges for this and it set them behind. I'm patiently waiting as I'll be in very soon with a 100% chance outcome. They're doing super. They don't hesitate to sit and talk if you need to. Terrific people so far, and I hope I can say the same when it's over and if I win, they deserve every penny earned. Thanks.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 16 out 18 people found this review helpful

    No help!

    • Glendale, Arizona,
    • Apr 10, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was with them for four years, and they never called me. I had to fire one of the lawyers at my hearing, and the judge even stopped the hearing because of how unprepared and unprofessional she was. They called me back promising me they would fix their wrong, but in the end, it was a waste of time and no help at all. Don't use them!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Very good service.

    I have had good customer service with Citizens Disability and received prompt call backs and answers. I have had to wait on hold for a while, but I'm not their only client. They have been extremely helpful for me, and yes I would recommend them. Thank you!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 24 out 27 people found this review helpful

    The biggest lie in the industry

    Long story short, the company was given to us as a referral from the Department of Workforce Services in Utah. At first, they were looking as if they were helping, but the bottom line was that my husband was turned down twice.

    We moved to Arizona from Utah, at which time the Arizona Department of Economic Security hooked my husband up with an advocate associated with the Social Security Administration, and less than eight months later he was approved. But, because he signed with Citizens Disability (giving them 25%, which they actually took more than the 25%, and they were not instrumental at all in helping us obtain our SSI), my husband and I lost our home in Utah while waiting for this SSI to come through, and are now are living with our in-laws.

    I would steer clear of anyone wanting you to sign over a portion of your settlement to them. Now, if you think that is helping someone, then sign up. I am currently looking into litigation to get my money back from them, and won't stop until I do.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 13 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Useless

    Don't waste your time with this company. Use disability lawyer near you so you can personally talk to him.

    Citizens Disability did not represent me well at all. My lawyer quit two weeks before my hearing with the judge, and I was not notified. After multiple calls, the agency contacted me and gave me a new lawyer. This lawyer called me around 8 pm the night before the hearing. She wasn't prepared at all. Some records and letters from friends and co-workers were not submitted. It was a disaster.

    I researched this company before using it, and the reviews looked promising. I loved how I didn't have to pay unless I win. I thought you had to pay lawyers up front. You do not! There are lawyers who do the same thing. You can personally speak to them, submit records and letters and receive help with forms.

    Using Citizens Disability is a waste of time. You might as well do it by yourself. I have more complaints, but I hope this is enough to persuade you not to use them. Good luck.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Persistent phone calls

    I contacted Citizens Disability just to inquire more information about it. I spoke with a live representative and was then transferred to another one who wanted to start my application. I had to, once again, explain I wasn't ready to start an application and needed time to think about and would call them back at my earliest convenience or if I wanted to move forward with the application. This was in the summer of 2016. Well apparently they only hear what they want to hear because I have received numerous calls, several times in a row, at all hours and any day of the week. I had even placed my number on the do not call list four times and the automated teller still calls. This company has even found a way to leave voice mails on my cell phone without actually calling.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 22 out 28 people found this review helpful

    They are real. I won a large sum.

    Citizens Disability is not a scam, I used them and won. It took 5 years, but I am young. I was awarded both. I wasn't aware I had to pay for both, I thought it was a set fee. But when they go for both and you win, you pay for both.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 77 out 85 people found this review helpful

    Waste of time

    • Tucson, AZ,
    • Dec 14, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had started my claim in July 2015. By August I was denied because I was working. I told Citizens my last job date would be July 10. I called to advise them that date was wrong, but they decided in their greed to use a date of December 2014.

    I sent paperwork, that they requested in September and then again in October regarding my medical information.

    No communication from Citizens Disability so I decided to call them.

    I called November 9, requesting an update on my claim. I was given the LAME EXCUSE that I didn't respond to any phone calls they had sent to me. I was advised then that my claim was denied, Did I want to proceed? Of course. I wasn't calling for that stupid question to be asked. I was advised they would call me back within 24-48 hours. I did not receive any calls from Citizen's Disability. I received calls from other disability companies asking me question.

    On 11-24-2015 I called again. Again the lies of me not answering my phones were there. And did I want to proceed with my claim?

    On 11-27-2015 I received a letter from them that their efforts to reach me were unsuccessful.

    Imagine my surprise on 12-1-2015 I was told they needed to start a new claim.

    I fired this company on the same date for their lies, and lack of professionalism and lack of timely handling my claim.

    On 12-3-2915 I received a phone call saying the same things and now they want to charge me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (2)
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    • Jan 21, 2016

      Kelsey Taylor

      My husband has had the EXACT same problem. My husband and I filled out and faxed ALL of the necessary paperwork to the social security office. They took $2520.00 from his settlement and they never called him back or even called to let him know he was approved. How is this company still in business?

    • Feb 10, 2016

      doris morgan

      I am curious to know the status of my account.

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  • 70 out 75 people found this review helpful

    Bad Company

    • Florida,
    • Nov 16, 2015

    Citizens Disability is the worst company to deal with (although Binder and Binder were just as bad). You do not have to work full time to apply for disability, they only require this so their 25% of your check comes out to a big amount. If you only qualify for $1000/month and they get $250 they don't want your case no matter how sick you are. This company is corrupt and should be investigated by the Better Business Bureau.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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