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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49 Consumer Reviews for Citizens Disability

Average Consumer Rating: 2.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 13 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  31
Bottom Line: 31% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 49
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  • 15 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Treat professional service rendered

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jul 16, 2015

    I wanted to take time out to share with everybody on what a great job Citizens Disability did for me. Words cannot express my true feelings.

    I began with Citizens Disability in February of 2012 and went for my disability hearing in January of 2015. Throughout the whole process they were with me and the courteous staff was very professional even when worried them as I tended to call them during the case. Finally we won, yeah. I'm very happy with the attorneys that prepped for my case, you know who you are.

    Everything matched my medical records and all I had to do was simply show up and tell them what was going on with me.

    I will mention attorney Mark Eagen because he made me so comfortable that you would think we've known each other our whole lives. Thank you, Citizens Disability.

    By the way, whether your case has been denied or just starting out and you're in the need of an attorney, I would recommend Citizen Disability as they will guide you through the process.

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

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  • 26 out 32 people found this review helpful

    A good experience

    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Mar 18, 2015

    I have worked with Citizens Disability for only three months and they got me a positive approval from Social Security. They kept me up to date on the whole process and answered all my questions in a timely manner. I would highly recommend their service.

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

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  • 20 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Comparison of Citizens Disability to other firms

    • Louisiana,
    • May 28, 2015

    I am a semi-retired lawyer and I do contract work for numerous Social Security Disability Advocates. That puts me in a position to see and judge the work product of many of these firms. I can tell you that there are some horrible ones out there. Some of these "advocates" do nothing but sign the client up and maybe help fill out the disability report. Nothing else. Oh, yeah - you can be certain that they do file the "Appointment of Representative" form 1696 and their fee agreement.

    Citizens is not one of those firms. I have appeared at hearings for them in at least a dozen cases in the last six months. They are among the best in advocating for their clients. Their lawyers are competent and professional. All of my dealings with them have been pleasant and cordial.

    Being in my position, I sometimes have been embarrassed to appear for some of these firms, because their work is so shoddy. But, when I get a Citizens case, I know that the case has been properly prepared and it ready for the hearing.

    I can't speak to the issue of how courteous they are to their clients but everyone I have dealt with there has been very courteous and friendly.

    I doubt very seriously that they charge fees to clients without SSA approval. That would put them out of business. But, they might file a petition for approval of a fee and the client is notified of the petition and is given an opportunity to contest it. My experience is that the SSA never overpays lawyers.

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

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    • Jun 8, 2015

      Shalece A Hoyt

      Well I have been waiting for my case to be done since 2012. Medical bills piling up, non stop calls from creditors threatening to take me to court. Not understanding why it is so hard to be approved. This has my health in danger, mentally, physically. Depression is a way of life for me, because of fear that I will not be able to live with pressure much more. PTSD is nothing to play with, but yet it takes years of many sleepless nights.

    • Jul 25, 2015

      Ray,

      Does anyone know where I can find a blank Disability Report Form to fill out?

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  • 13 out 16 people found this review helpful

    100% Supportive

    • Fort Myers Florida,
    • Jul 18, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    The complaints I read most are about having to fill out paper work, I guarantee that you would do the same with any attorney. Citizens Disability was very supportive through the whole long process. And it is a long process, that's not Citizens fault, that's the Social Security system. If you have the patience to stick it out, Citizens will be there every step of the way. But it really comes down to your personal patience. And as far as gathering info that they need, they do the leg work for you and anytime I called them I always got through to someone and every question was answered. If you need help with your disability claim, call them, talk it through with them, you'll be glad you did. I was approved at my hearing. Citizens did that for me.

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

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  • 34 out 40 people found this review helpful

    Great results

    • Huntersville, NC,
    • Oct 9, 2015

    I had a great experience with Citizen's Disability from the very beginning till the end. Everyone I talked to on the phone was professional and answered all my questions. Everything they said would happen and was accurate. I gave them every doctor contact I went to and they gathered all the paperwork throughout the entire two years I dealt with them. I was amazed at how well they knew what to do at each step. I was denied twice verbally just by reading a few of my initial medical reports but then Citizen's sent me detailed reports to be filled out by three of my most visited doctors. After about 8 months I finally got a hearing. It just takes a lot of patience waiting for a turn but they had good follow through and told me it would take about this long. I ended up winning my case with great representation from them and their fees were just taken from the initial lump payment you get of back pay to you. They do not take anything out of your monthly benefits like others were responding. I was very happy overall with this company. You do have to give them the information they need upfront and stick with them.

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

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  • 15 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Great communication both with calls and mail.

    • Stafford, VA,
    • Oct 24, 2015

    They kept up with all the data and kept me informed of all the steps and time frames. They provided doctors appointments and made sure I was notified in order not to miss any appointments.

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

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  • 32 out 45 people found this review helpful

    They were great

    • New York ,
    • Oct 31, 2015

    They helped me fill out the forms. They gave me directions, they provided the doctors information, they were on top of it above and beyond. I want to thank you Citizens Disability for all your help, I appreciate it.

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

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  • 27 out 34 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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  • 22 out 26 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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  • 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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  • 9 out 15 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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    Comments (2)
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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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