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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44 Consumer Reviews for Citizens Disability

Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 12 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  27
Bottom Line: 32% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 44
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  • 4 out 4 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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  • 8 out 8 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.

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    To Citizens

    • E tx,
    • Mar 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    All I can say is Citizens did what they said they were going to do. I have two friends that went through it, and they got approved. I went through it, and I got approved. I've never had any complaints from them, they always did what they said they were going to do, and I just want to thank everybody at Citizens and anybody else.

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

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    • Mar 26, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks so much for the kind words! We're glad you had a good experience. If we can ever help in the future please don't hesitate to let us know!

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Thank you

    • Nashville, IN,
    • Mar 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This was a difficult process that took four years! I quit, but they would not let me. They talked me thru it, said I could win, although I was skeptical. It went all the way to a final, appealed review. I won, right then and there, without having to wait for a decision. I would have never done that without them. It is hard for me to imagine the negative reviews. They were so helpful. They were ALWAYS available when I called. I don't know how much they are going to charge. I know it is $6000. I hope it is not more than that, like charging expenses for everything until my money is all gone. I am waiting to find out.

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

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    • Mar 13, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi James,

      Our fee is determined by the Social Security Administration, so it will be difficult to tell you exactly how much it will be until the post-hearing process is complete. We'll have a team member reach out to you this week to go over the details to make sure you understand how it works so there are no surprises. Thanks for the kind words, we're glad we were able to get you a positive result!

    • Mar 16, 2018

      Patricia Perkins

      Citizens Disability services worked long and hard with me in getting the award, I was very pleased. My hopes were low in the beginning, but they kept on processing my claim. I will highly recommend them (and I have been) SSDI. Andrew Young and his team are AWESOME. Thank you to ALL, for changing my life.

    • Mar 19, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Thanks so much for the kind words Patricia!

    • Mar 27, 2018

      Shelly Jones

      I am going through Citizens Disability right now.

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Messed up company

    Citizen Disability is the worst company ever. I understand about my hearing, and what they just said, that's very understandable, that this company will waste your time they cannot help you. And I'll be honest, when I looked at their reviews, and that people said bad things about them, I ignored it, and I still went through with the process. It's no lie what people are saying about them; it's the worst company ever to deal with for them to be your lawyers.

    I had a hearing and they did not show up at my hearing, they hired another lawyer that was in my area to come to my hearing, and did not have any experience about my case because that's what it seemed like to me.

    Do never hire this company. They are very bad people. They need to go out of business. These people are a joke, like people said, and wasted a whole three years of my life. If you don't believe me try it out yourself and you'll see they are a joke. And I will make sure I will put this on every social media page about Citizens Disability to not have to work for you. They need to go out of business. They are wasting people's time and are just terrible.

    And the lady, Felicia, she calls you and she's very rude and gets smart with people, and then when you want them to close your case out, the will send you a CD. You won't get paperwork like you give them when they close your case out. Messed up company. See for yourself!

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

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    • Mar 1, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Andrea,

      We're sorry you feel you did not receive a high level of service with us. We take pride in our service and would like to clarify that we did show up at your hearing. We have attorneys and advocates across the country to allow us to offer representation to clients who do not live near our offices. We're sorry you felt your hearing representative did not have experience with your case, however, we assure you your file was developed thoroughly.

      We cannot mail you your "paper file" because your file here is electronic. We put the file onto CD to allow for ease of shipping. If you'd like to print your file to paper once you receive it you are more than welcome to.

      Our goal is to provide excellent service to all clients. We're sorry we weren't able to meet your expectations, but do thank you for the feedback.

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your time

    They weren't diligent in getting medical records from the doctor. I didn't meet or converse with the supposed attorney until 15 minutes before my hearing. After an unfavorable decision, they dropped me as a client.

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

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  • 13 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Advocacy is everything!

    • New York,
    • Nov 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This process can be long, arduous, and at times discouraging. Having Citizens Disability with me throughout the process made it less overwhelming and comfortable. They were available to answer my questions along the way which kept me informed in real time. I would recommend Citizens Disability to anyone seeking representation they can trust. Citizens Disability have been my touchstone and advocate, and I could not have succeeded without them. So many thanks!

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

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    • Nov 7, 2017

      Matt Brulet,

      Thank you for the kind words Veronica! We're so glad we were able to assist you. Thanks for the opportunity to do so, and please don't hesitate to contact us in the future if there's anything we can do!

    • Nov 27, 2017

      Gladys

      I have a question! The 25% charge, will that be only one time once you are approved or will Citizens Disability take 25% every month or every year? I was under the impression that it was only once when your claim is approved. Please be honest with me and clarify this for me. Thank you in advance! I need guidance and info.

    • Nov 29, 2017

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Gladys,

      The 25% fee is only charged once you are approved and is applied directly to your one-time retroactive benefits check. In fact, the 25% fee is actually set and regulated by the government for your protection, and the SSA usually calculates and withholds this fee automatically for claimants when they are approved.

      The fee is also outlined and explained in the contract we send to every single one of our prospective clients to make sure you have a chance to read it in writing too!

      I hope that answers your question, if not please feel free to give us a call anytime during our normal business hours.

    • Dec 18, 2017

      Michael

      They have been my attorney since April 22, 2014, and yet, social security has me do the legwork collecting documents, medical records and sending the fax because my representatives don't respond and or return correspondence. Kind of whack for a 'Nations best advocate.'

    • Jan 4, 2018

      Benjamin Harrison

      I'm starting to work on my case now.

    • Jan 5, 2018

      Matt Brulet,

      Hi Michael,

      We'd love to hear more about your experience, gathering medical records and reviewing evidence/documents prior to submission are a few of the things we do most often for our clients. Please contact us using the client number in your Welcome Kit or via our website so we can help!

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  • 8 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Citizens Disability

    • Kentucky,
    • Oct 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They did a great job, and they kept me informed at all times. Their team is awesome! I had worked with a lawyer before, but this team was right with me after fighting for 5 years. The attorney I had was great; he spoke up and did a wonderful job!

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

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    • Nov 7, 2017

      Matt Brulet,

      Thanks Lisa! We're so glad you had a good experience and we were able to get you a positive result. Please don't hesitate to contact us in the future if there's anything we can do!

    • Mar 21, 2018

      Sabrina

      I had a hearing with the judge about my SSDI, why does it take so long to get an answer from the judge advocate? When I talk to citizens with a disability to find out where my case lies, all I get is that we are not privileged to those answers, mind you, it has been four months now since my hearing. I have been going at this for 38 months now. I am frustrated, tired, and ready to lose everything because of this. My life is on hold and to be quite honest, I do not like feeling like this.

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  • 23 out 26 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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  • 26 out 29 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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    • Nov 29, 2017

      Brian Taylor

      My court date is tomorrow morning and I still haven't heard from my attorney. I gave Citizens Disability another call today, and I was given the same response, "I will send an urgent email." I asked if they will get the email today because it was getting close to 5 pm EST. She ensured me that they would. I asked them, "What time is it now?" Again, she ensured me that they would get the email. So I asked, "Are you in Massachusetts or even in the United States?" The response was "No, I'm in the Philippines." OMG.

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  • 15 out 22 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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