It can be confusing and even scary to think about applying for Social Security disability. Here you are unable to work, in a lot of pain and wondering where the money is coming from. You see those commercials and wonder what the role of a Social Security disability attorney is, and do you need one? The commercials make it sound like you do but you don’t know.
It can be scary if you are injured or have a disease the requires you to stop working and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You might be in a lot of pain from your disability. You might be alone with no one to help you get through the process, documents, and paperwork needed to apply.
Just what is it that this Social Security disability attorney can do for you? What is the role of these Social Security disability lawyers? Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
What is their role?
Some folks believe that a Social Security disability lawyer is absolutely essential if you are disabled and applying for SSDI. As confusing and scary as the disability application process is to you, it is that familiar to a social security lawyer. It is her area of expertise in the law. He has studied and practiced disability law and he is committed to making sure your rights as a disabled person are honored.
So, what can she do for you? First of all, they are there to make sure your rights are not trampled on. They are your representative with the Social Security Administration. Once you name one of the many available Social Security Disability Attorneys as your representative, the Social Security Administration will no longer contact you without contacting your representative first.
They will act as the go-between for you and the Social Security Administration. All correspondence that the Social Security Administration sends to you they must also send to your lawyer.
The role of representing you to the Social Security Administration is very helpful, but the real job of Social Security attorneys is to give you the best possible odds of having your application granted. This is their real responsibility – the core of their work – making sure everything possible is done to make your application successful.
Their role can start before you even begin to complete your application, or you can wait until you are at the hearing with the Administrative Judge after your initial application is turned down. About 70% of all initial applications are turned down.
Supporting during the appeals process
Most importantly, if you are in that 70% that are turned down after the first application, you will want to appeal. The appeal can have many stages, but it is at this point that you would want to be working with lawyers for Social Security Disability.
They will know how the forms should be filled out and the right language to use for an appeal. You will need them to represent you before the federal judge at the Administrative Hearing. This is where your case is really won or lost. There are possible appeals if you lose at this stage, but it gets much harder then.
You don’t want to lose the Administrative Hearing. A lawyer could be the difference between approval and denial at this stage.
This is particularly true if you also applied for SSI or Supplemental Security Income. In that case, you have to prove both disability and financial needs. SSI Disability Lawyers would be able to walk you through that entire process. They can help you to understand the complicated formula the Social Security Administration uses to define income and sort through what if any financial resources you might have.
Then you have to qualify with a disability. They can help you with all that documentation as well. If you are applying for both Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the role of the lawyers for Social Security Disability would be critical.
Regardless of which program or both that you are applying for, many people decide to go it on their own at the initial application stage and if necessary hire a lawyer for the appeals and hearing. This is fine for many people and there is no requirement for you to have lawyers for Social Security on your payroll at all.
You do not have to use a lawyer. It’s just smart to do so. Even at the application stage.
It is at the application stage that you can become overwhelmed with all the work you have to do to apply. You have to gather all the medical records and official documents and decide on the date you actually became disabled. This date can determine how much back pay you receive when approved.
One of the biggest reasons people are turned down at this stage is their application is incomplete or their records are incomplete. That won’t happen to you if you work with one of the many experienced Social Security disability law firms.
Gathering medical evidence
With a Social Security disability lawyer working for you, you won’t even have to gather all the records and medical information. He will do it for you. He will fill out the application by either meeting with you in person or over the phone. Either way, it is his role to make sure everything is in place and nothing has been forgotten or left incomplete.
The medical records and information that you present to Social Security is the bread and butter of your case. An experienced disability lawyer will make sure you have everything you need. All you have to do is sign a medical release form and your lawyer will take it from there.
They will talk to your health care providers to get the most accurate information and sort through your records and history to provide the Social Security Administration with the best possible information to get an approval. It is so much easier to let the disability lawyers take care of this for you instead of having to plow through it all yourself.
If your application is denied, then your lawyer really goes to work filing your appeal and preparing for the Administrative Hearing in front of a federal judge. There are strict timelines for the appeals and your lawyer will stay on top of that and make sure they are met.
Between 60-70% of all Social Security Disability claims are won at the hearing level. If you don’t use a lawyer at any other time, use one for the hearing. You need to be prepared for this hearing and your disability lawyer will make sure that you are. This hearing requires you to present witnesses and testify for yourself. Your lawyer will help you prepare and succeed through this process.
Remember two important things through this process:
- You are not required to use an attorney when you file for either Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income.
- The fee any disability lawyer can charge you is set by law and cannot for any reason exceed that amount. So, you know exactly what you will be charged.
- You will not be charged at all unless you win your claim.
Remember, you’re disabled. You’re probably in pain or fatigued. No, you don’t have to use a disability attorney but your odds of winning your case improve dramatically if you do.