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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53 Consumer Reviews for Citizens Disability

Average Consumer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 13 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  35
Bottom Line: 28% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 53
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Definitely a scam!

    • Maryland,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would rate them -0 stars if that was an option. They utilize predatory practices on seniors and send in papers to SSA without your permission. Even though certified letters were sent to them, phone calls were made to them, even a statement was given to the Social Security Administration, they still manage to send unauthorized documents on behalf of my brother, who I am the legal guardian of. Who by the way is already receiving disability payments as a result of my applying and submitting paperwork. So much of my time and energy is spent on trying to have them cease and desist. I think I will have to now pay for an attorney just to put a stop to this once and for all. DON'T DO IT!

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    If I had it to do over again

    • Denton, TX,
    • Oct 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I engaged Citizens Disability with hopes that my disability claim would go as smoothly as possible. After much waiting and little action, my claim has been denied after the ALJ hearing. The judge’s letter is riddled with inconsistencies, errors and pure assumptions on the judges part.

    I wanted to speak with someone about this, so I called Citizens Disability. As with every time I have called, my call was answered with a person whose primary job appears to be reading notes and give "answers" that don’t really mean anything. I can never get through, or receive a "promised" return call from someone who could actually speak about my specific claim. The "procedure" entails more waiting. This time I need to wait up to 5 weeks for a mysterious shadowy figure (my team lead who is never available) to review my claim and make a decision of what to do next. There is never any sense of urgency or recognition that I have been barely surviving with no income.

    What I have gotten so far is a place to send the results of my work to as a pathway to get it to the SSA, something I could do myself. There is no assistance of any kind along the way. For example, I asked for clinics that might help with tests and procedures ordered by my doctors. Their response was to send me a list that included planned parenthood (I am male and do not need contraception or an abortion) and a VA hospital (I am not a veteran).

    I am running a risk in doing this since my claim is not completed, but I am at a loss as to what to do.

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

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    • Oct 8, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Vance,

      While we apologize for the delay, as we stated on the phone, it takes some time for your case handler to fully examine the judge's decision, especially those inconsistencies and inaccuracies you mentioned, to develop a framework on which to make an appeal.

      Your case handler will be reaching out today to speak with you directly. While we hope you're willing to hear him out, we wish you the best of luck regardless of how you choose to proceed.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Took my money

    • Florida,
    • Sep 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I only receive $978 a month, which is making it very hard to live on. They did nothing for me and I fired them, but they still took $6,000. I got nothing for retroactive because they took it all! I never talked to them and did not know I even had a lawyer.

    I'm now trying to find another advocate because I think I should be able to collect enough to live on. Being physically, emotionally, and mentally disabled, I'm scared!

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

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    • Sep 27, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Debra,

      We'd love to speak with you about your situation, as we can't find a client file that matches the details you've posted here. Please contact our client services team so we can investigate this and make it right. Your monthly payments are determined by how much you have paid into the system over the course of your employment and is not something that any advocate can increase or decrease. In addition, our payments are regulated and processed by the social security administration and are set at 25% of retroactive benefits, so it is not possible for us to have collected all of it. Again, we'd love to hear from you so we can see what happened and set it right.

    • Oct 30, 2018

      JoAnn D.

      I've been trying to contact Nika Meneses for three days now. Every time I get hold of someone, I'm told she is going to call right back. So far, no call. I am unable to speak to Nika to answer the questions she says she has. I'm informed they have a lot of calls besides mine, I'm unable to speak to a supervisor, and I'm told there is no one I can speak to. As of right now, they've hung up on me three times. It's not really worth the frustration in my opinion.

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Don’t use these people

    • Tybee Island, GA,
    • Aug 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a stroke in October 2017, I got in touch with Citizens Disability that month. They did not find my case until the end of December 2017. They never stayed in touch with me, the Social Security office stayed in touch with me more than Citizens Disability. I was going to use my back check to pay my hospital bill but I didn’t get a back check because they didn’t file my claim until the end of December. When you call them, no one speaks English and if you ask to talk to someone in the United States they get really rude. I am getting my disability but not because of anything that they did!

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

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    • Aug 21, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Julie,

      We're sorry you were disappointed with our services. We filed your claim as soon as possible, after receiving your signed paperwork. Your retroactive benefits are calculated by the Social Security Administration based off of how much you paid into the system, and when your onset date is. While we wish you had a better experience, we thank you for your feedback and will certainly use it to be better in the future.

    • Sep 13, 2018

      Sandra C.

      I was wondering how they got my information about me being hurt in my back. I called and asked them the question, and they said they got it from me. Well, duh, yes you did when you called me, but now I see all the negative reasons why people don't want to use them. I'm not singing the papers when they arrive in three to five days, and the told me five percent of winnings, not 25 percent. I guess when you can't speak English to well you can't understand what the heck they are saying. But no, I'm not going to use y'all, now that I see no good reviews on here. Thanks for your time it's not needed anymore.

    • Sep 26, 2018

      Darrell S.

      Hi, my name is Darrell, and I'm not sure l agree that Citizen is really that bad, but yes, there is room for improvement. I've been waiting for almost three years; I also hate talking to the Indian lady who can't pronounce my name or spell it. When I ask to please let me speak to someone handling my case, all I get is "they will call you in two days," and guess what, no call. I have seen a judge nine months ago and nothing. I'm sorry to say this but I think of suicide, I'm so depressed, I can't pay rent, I eat at the Soup Kitchen because I can't buy food. I can bearly get to my doctor, no carfare. Oh, and now my insurance doesn't want to pay for my treatment anymore. Is it a lot to ask for? I want to speak to a manager from America, tell me they are still there, let me feel there is still some hope. All I want is to live and get the approval. Will I refer a friend? I sure hope so.

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Terrible attorney

    • Arizona,
    • Aug 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried for five years with Citizens to get my disability, and they were the most unprofessional group I have ever meet. They do not keep in touch with clients nor do they return phone calls when asked. And at no time can you ever speak with the attorney you hired during your case. Half of there staff does not speak English, and I would never recommend them to anyone in the first, not even my worst enemy. I sincerely hope this helps anyone else from having to suffer the experience I have had with Citizens Disability.

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

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    • Aug 13, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Darren,

      We're sorry we didn't meet your expectations. We keep in touch with our clients through a variety of methods, including phone calls, text messages and email. We also return all phone calls and voicemails received. While we wish you had a better experience, we do sincerely appreciate your feedback and will use it to be better in the future.

    • Aug 15, 2018

      Julie S.

      The worst lawyers I have ever seen! I got in touch with these people in October and they didn’t file my case until the end of December! I was going to use my back-check to pay my hospital bills! Guess what, I didn’t get a back-check. They never return phone calls. I stayed in touch with the Social Security office more than Citizens Disability stayed in touch with me! Don’t use these people.

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    I don’t understand why Citizens Disability hasn’t been shut down yet

    • Dayton, OH,
    • Aug 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The company poached my father, who is a senior, and pitched to him in a sales way, stating they could help with his disability claim to make it faster and easier. I have volunteered for quite a while now helping seniors, and I’m familiar with the process myself. If someone has a disability listed in the Blue Book, meets all the requirements to be considered disabled and it is clearly documented, it shouldn’t take any longer than 6-9 months at the most to get approved. The process is not as difficult as some people or places have made it seem, it’s been grossly exaggerated. There is a general application, where you list your disability, and you need to have doctors records showing when it started, the diagnosis and severity/symptoms... and sometimes the prognosis or when /if it will end. That’s all. It’s not rocket science.

    This place uses that as a weapon to convince people how difficult it is and make themselves seem needed. They charge MORE than a licensed attorney would, but what makes them the worst type of people is...they drag out the process as much as they possibly can. My father's disabilities were clear, records were clear. He had the perfect claim, and they dragged it out for two years knowing that the more his back pay was, the more they would get out of it. During that time he suffered. By the time I found out about this, I couldn’t get rid of them because it would’ve restarted the process for him. He hid it from me because he said he realized he’d been scammed after it was too late.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, along with all of these organizations that claim to monitor this sort of thing. Such as the BBB, who in my opinion is a scam in itself. The BBB is highly recognized and their opinion valued. But they should have to disclose that they accept payments from businesses to include them in their website. They’re really more like a club and hold no power. If you really want to file a complaint: go to the FDA for medical or drug related issues, the FTC for purchase or good related problems or the FCC for utilities. There are plenty of places that DO have the power to do something, but they only have power if they know what the problem is.

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

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    • Aug 13, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Samantha,

      We wish the disability application process were that simple. For claimants who meet listed conditions, as you mention, the process is relatively straightforward. For the overwhelming majority of applicants who do not meet listed conditions, but rather have combinations of various conditions and symptoms, the process is much more complex and difficult, and we're proud to help them navigate it.

      We do not "charge MORE than a licensed attorney." Our fees are regulated by government statue and are the industry standard. We also do not drag out the process as you claim. Our fees are capped at the government maximum regardless of how long a claim takes. The reality is that the Social Security claims backlog has been growing for years due to SSA being understaffed and under-budgeted. We work as hard as possible to get all of our claims approved as quickly as possible.

      Withdrawing as your father's representative also would absolutely not "restart the process," as you claim. We want to have productive working relationships with all of our clients, and would love to speak further with your father, and you if he authorizes it, about all of these matters.

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    No communication, they ruined my life.

    • Tacoma, WA,
    • Aug 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Citizens Disability gave me false hope and I blindly trusted them for over four years of my life, and now I am still sick, hopeless and not knowing what to do. Do not use this organization. They told me nothing. I was in the loop about nothing the whole time. I wished I would have read more online about them beforehand. I am being interviewed by a news show about this organization. I was contacted by them so apparently, this is a big deal. They have done this to many people other than me.

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

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    • Aug 6, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Mr. Wagers,

      We apologize that you feel we did not communicate with you often enough. Our records show that we were frequently in contact with you regarding your claim throughout the four years we were handling your claim. Our goal is for every client to feel well represented, which is why we have advocates available via phone, fax, and email to make sure we are always within reach for questions. While we regret that we did not live up to your expectations, we appreciate your feedback and will be reaching out by phone to speak with you in further detail to see where we can improve.

    • Sep 18, 2018

      Roxanne D.

      I am about to attend my hearing tomorrow. After reading this, I am greatly concerned. I was contacted monthly, concerning my claim but never spoke with an attorney and felt lost the whole time. The Hearing CD I was given that I cannot review. My anxiety levels prevent me from completely grasping things and wanted someone to review with me before I go. I have no medical insurance and they kept asking me for more medical or current medical information for which I could not get after moving to a different state and starting all over. I use walk-in clinics and no consistent doctor to verify anything. I am so afraid this will be a big bust. Now ready, the bank stuff...I am really scared and petrified.

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Terrible, unorganized, no communication

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jun 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I hired them to help me with my disability claim in 2012-2013ish, they screwed up the entire case. They did not contact me in timely manners, they did not get correspondences to me, I was in the dark and could NEVER speak to the same person. I missed required appointments due to lack of communication, my hearing was missed, and the appeal was not done correctly either. I recommend running as far and as fast from these people as possible. Thanks to them I was denied, and to this day my condition has worsened, and if and when I have to apply again I will have to start all over, and Disability will not backdate to the original date.

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

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    • Jun 27, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Jeanne,

      We're sorry we didn't meet your expectations. We appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback and will use it to get better moving forward.

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  • 1 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Disability

    • Camden, SC,
    • Jun 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Citizen’s Disability was wonderful and were very easy to work with. I received my disability the first I applied with their help. I recommend Citizen's Disability 100%. They were very thorough and kept me informed the entire process. Plus, the percentage that they charged was less than 99% of the other companies that provided the same services.

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

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    • Jun 7, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Thanks for the kind words Cynthia! We're so glad you found our service helpful. If we can ever help in the future, please let us know!

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  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Three years and still nothing

    I started with them in 2015 and still have no idea who contacted them or submitted me to them to represent me. In 2016 the claims were denied and at the appeal hearing the Social Security expert they sent me told them in her observation of me that I would never be able to return to any work. Still at the hearing the lawyer they sent me for the hearing contacted me at 9 pm Central Time for a 10 am Central Time hearing at a location one hour and 45 minutes (the closet office) and told me to be there an hour or more ahead of the hearing to review my case before, instead of calling me during the day before denials come in the day of the hearing. A person has an equal chance of getting this far on their own then with a for-profit law firm looking to make 25% off the top of any back settlement, no matter how small, for years of work an advocate non-profit could do.

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

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  • 13 out 14 people found this review helpful

    They are not the attorneys that they claim to be

    • Blue Springs, MO,
    • Apr 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had to fill out all the paperwork myself. They are not helpful like indicated when they talk to you for the first time. They gave no concern to what I had to say. When SS turned down my claim, they didn't even know it happened until I called and told them and to see what was going to happen next. They don't return phone calls. The lawyer I talked to two weeks ago gave me his personal number, but it was a wrong number. I believe that all they care about is the money they get if I win. Right now I don't think they believe I will, so they are not trying to help.

    I found them by filling out a survey online to see if I qualified for SS benefits.

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

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    • Apr 25, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Martie,

      We're sorry that you are not happy with our services. With regards to denials, they are mailed from your local office, so it always takes a few days longer to reach us, a though we can always help over the phone even without our copy.

      We're a little confused regarding communication issues, as after speaking with the attorney handling your claim, it appears you've had multiple conversations with him over the past few weeks, as recently as yesterday. We assure you we care about your claim, and someone will be reaching out shortly to address your concerns and see how we can better serve you.

    • May 9, 2018

      Brian M

      DO NOT DEAL WITH THEM! THEY'RE AN ABSOLUTE WASTE OF TIME! I had a hearing with a lawyer of theirs who didn't do shit for me! After three years an submitting updated medical evidence, in the end, it was all for nothing! This was a huge blow to me as this process which included their "lawyer" is a complete waste of time. As a vet with mental health issues, it's still a tough pill to swallow!

      Their lawyers "claim" to be lawyers but they're not because if they were actual lawyers, I would have received a favorable decision after being denied three times already! A bit of advice, STAY AWAY from Citizens Disability at ALL costs, do your homework and find a reputable lawyer who will help you get what YOU deserve. Please DO NOT WASTE your time with Citizens Disability.

    • May 18, 2018

      James R

      I would NOT recommend THEM AT ALL! I have been dealing with them since January 2016. I never get follow-ups. I have spoken with an attorney ONLY ONCE and that was when I threatened to fire them. I got a text this morning, saying that they needed to talk to me about an appeal. I called and of course, I got one of their rude, offshore, and hard to understand associates. I was told that an appeals specialist would call me in the next two business days. WOW, I get to think about this ALL weekend! HOW RUDE!

      Do NOT USE THEM, They do not care about their clients. They only care about their money.

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