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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52 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:  34
Bottom Line: 29% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 52
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  • 36 out 38 people found this review helpful

    They are horrible!

    • Myrtle Beach, SC,
    • Jul 24, 2014

    If you hire them, they will be rude to you and not return your calls. You will meet your representative for the first time at the hearing and the representative will most likely not be an attorney and will most likely no know what she is doing. Your representative will most likely be rude and unprofessional to the Judge who you appear before. causing you much embarrassment and jeopardizing your chances of winning your case. If you win, it will not be because of good representation. If you win, it will be despite bad representation. You will most likely been better off without a representative. Do yourself a favor and hire a real attorney in your area who specializes in Social Security disability cases. You will receive far better representation for the same fee arrangement and significantly increase your chances of winning your case.

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

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  • 27 out 32 people found this review helpful

    Do not hire them for your disability case.

    • Maryland,
    • Oct 5, 2014

    After more than a year and a half, and after submitting many documents, these incompetent people dropped my case 3 weeks prior to the hearing. Leaving me with no representation. They did not sent all documents to the social security administration. Restrained necessary information needed to make an informed case. Over 14 years of evidence accumulated and non of it was sent to SSA.

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

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  • 31 out 34 people found this review helpful

    No answers to my questions

    • Walker, LA,
    • Nov 21, 2014

    I hired Citizens on TV. After a year of using them and having no satisfaction, I went ahead and contacted Social Security myself and I was amazed to find out that Citizens Disability didn't even know my case worker. I fired at them and said that hired a local attorney would be a better fit. Besides, you never speak to the same person and you always get the total run around.

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

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  • 22 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Just called for info

    • Jan 9, 2015

    I just called for information and reached the wrong organization anyway. However, minutes later got a call back from them not the toll free number but from the area code that I live in claiming they were Citizens Disability and then they just hung up. Tried to call them back and got a buzzing sound. Has anyone else experienced this?

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

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  • 26 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Scam artists

    • Jul 13, 2015

    What they don't tell you is that if they win your case in a short time, they will bill you. They told SSA that I wasn't filing for SSI and yet when I did qualify, they took their 25% of the back payment, which happened to be one whole month's check, leaving me broke again! Since my disability claim was settled in five months, there was no back monies from SSDI so they sent me a bill for $1000.00. They don't tell you they are charging you by the quarter hour yet their rates run between $195.00 and $335.00 an hour.

    The itemized bill they sent me showed that for one day, they mailed out a bi-fold piece of mail with "Urgent legal document" stamped on the outside and said nothing more other than that they were working hard on my case. They were charging a total of $328.75. Is that how much a post card costs to them?

    Their formula for billing by the quarter hour blatantly pads the bill to make the total hours seem excessive. If they read a piece of mail that takes 15 minutes or even talk to you for five on the phone, they will bill you for every moment spent doing so. Even SSA said that anything more than 12 hours that they have claimed to work on my case seems excessive.

    For an agency that claims to be an advocate, they will take your money and leave you broke without warning and then bill you a ridiculous amount for hours they never performed.

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

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  • 26 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Citizens disability is a scam

    • Texas,
    • Feb 13, 2015

    I went through this company for my disability which after 2 years was granted. When payment was issued Citizens Disability got 25% as agreed upon. About 2 weeks later I got a bill for over $7,000.00 in "additional items" which included things like scanning in one paper and charging .25 hour at the rate of 295.00.

    I have filed an appeal with Social Security twice so far and each time I was told they could collect this but it was between citizens Disability and myself. I only received $3,700.00 in back time. They wanted more than double that in fees. They called me with an offer to settle this for $1,000.00 which I reluctantly agreed to accept. This company is ridiculous.

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

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  • 17 out 18 people found this review helpful

    I do not recommend using Citzens Disability

    • Rochester, NY,
    • Jun 28, 2015

    If you don't want to get stuck doing ALL your own paperwork and gathering all the doctors evidence, then do not use this company! I did ALL my own footwork and the lawyer that showed up to my hearing didn't even know my case nor was he prepared! They had two and a half years to get it together and when the day of court came, guess what? They didn't even have ALL my medical documents and the Judge had to give them another month to get it all in. I did it all by myself to begin with. This company is a joke and I would never refer anyone to them at all. When you call you get a different person every single time who is clueless when it comes to your case.

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

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  • 18 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Unethical solicitation practices

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jul 13, 2015

    First, Citizens Disability is not a law firm; yet they charge the same (or more apparently, judging from comments on this site) than experienced attorneys who specialize in Social Security disability representation. Notwithstanding the post from the attorney who says he does contract work for Citizens, it employs mostly non-attorneys to appear at hearings of its clients.

    Citizens is apparently obtaining the contact information of individuals who are in the midst of applying for disability benefits, and soliciting them by unethical means:

    http://checkwhocalled.com/phone-number/1-203-544-4801

    I represent claimants in Social Security disability claims. A person who identified himself as Scott called a client of mine from this number. He said he was calling from “National Social Security Disability.” He tried to ask my client questions and told her he could get her $2500 more in benefits each month. He seemed angry and hung up when my client told him she needed to speak with her attorney. I called this number and got message that this phone number was not accepting calls right now.

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

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  • 25 out 28 people found this review helpful

    My Experience with Citizens disability

    • Grand Junction co.,
    • Jul 31, 2015

    Once they get you signed up, they tell you you won't have a Lawyer or Medical Expert in court. Never enter a court Room without an Attorney. You won't be taken seriously. And then they don't return your calls when you have questions.

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

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  • 23 out 25 people found this review helpful

    Citizens Disibility was of no help with my claim. Not a dimes worth of help.

    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Aug 2, 2015

    Citizens disability changed our deal as soon as they started our agreement. Citizens wanted to charge me for mailing and secretary time. Also, they wanted to set up a joint account to control any SS payments. When I called Citizens Disability to speak to my concerns, I was treated with disdain and told they could not do anything for me or address my concerns until I signed a change to our agreement. Citizens did submit my original application. A secretary spent less than a half hour on this. I was invoiced $2,600.00 for this. I won my disability case and was threatened with a law suite. I ended up paying $437.80 to end this mistake. Do not make my mistake.

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

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  • 24 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Bad experience

    Worst experience EVER. It took almost 5 months and multiple phone calls before I could contact the person handling my case. They didn't keep me updated, didn't get the paperwork together, and because of the way they handled it, I lost the appeal. I would recommend finding someone else to represent you.

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

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