What is the Role of a Social Security Disability Attorney?

Submitted by Deanna on

The Social Security disability application process can be overwhelming, especially during a time that your health is suffering. While you are not required to hire a lawyer who specializes in Social Security disability cases, you will likely find it to be extremely beneficial.

A Social Security disability attorney has experience dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, as a result, is very skilled at handling the various issues that may arise throughout the application process.

Should you choose to use a Social Security disability attorney, he or she will function as the communicator between you and the SSA. The Social Security disability application process is complex and much of the language used is often foreign to the average person. Your experienced disability attorney speaks the same language as the SSA, and thus can communicate on your behalf. In addition to serving as the middleman, your disability attorney will:

Complete an Initial Review of Your Case

No matter where you are in the application process, your attorney will carefully review your case from start to finish. After reviewing your information, your attorney will determine the best approach for moving forward. A disability attorney will help to craft a compelling story around your case, developing a strategy on how your case will be won.

What Does My Attorney Do?

Ensure That Your Application is Complete

Perhaps one of the most significant mistakes made by individuals who are applying for Social Security disability benefits is filing an incomplete claim. A majority of applicants are denied during the initial stages of the process, and one of the biggest factors is an incomplete application. A Social Security lawyer will ensure that you have crossed all of your t’s and dotted all of your I’s during the application process.

Collect and Sort Medical Evidence on Your Behalf

Social Security disability cases are won and lost on medical evidence. After you sign a medical records release, an experienced attorney will help gather the relevant medical evidence needed for your application. A disability attorney will review your medical records and will work with you to collect any missing medical tests. More importantly, he or she will sort through the hundreds of pages of documents to determine which information is most important. Finally, most attorneys will work directly with your physician or other healthcare providers to gather supportive opinion statements or letters.

Stay in Communication with the Social Security Administration

The volume of claims that pass through the Social Security office is enormous. Further, the application process is complex, filled with deadlines and various formalities. A disability lawyer will communicate with the SSA on your behalf.

File Necessary Appeals

According to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA), less than 40% of Social Security disability applications are approved at the initial application level. If your case is one that receives an initial denial, you may appeal the decision. There are several distinct steps in the appeals process, and all must be completed within a certain amount of time. A Social Security attorney can help you navigate the appeals process.

Represent you at Disability Hearings

The majority of disability claims are won at the hearing level. If you have been denied disability benefits and you appeal, you will be offered a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Disability hearings are stressful, and preparation is critical. A Social Security attorney will ensure that you are adequately prepared for your hearing. While you will still need to speak for yourself, he or she will represent you at the conference. Additionally, your lawyer for Social Security disability will ask questions of your witnesses, as well as address any expert witnesses, such as vocational experts.

Am I Required to Have a Social Security Disability Attorney?

While no one is ever required to have an attorney when filing for Social Security disability, your chances for approval dramatically increase when working with one. Some people are skeptical about hiring an attorney, as they may already be struggling financially due to their illness. However, a Social Security disability attorney does not get paid unless you win your case.

Blog comments

Gary (not verified)

I need assistance for

I need assistance for appealing a determination of overpayment which is incorrect and disability is not willing to help. They keep just telling me complete numerous forms which I have and they keep sending the same forms

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:16 Permalink

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

Hi Gary,

Hi Gary,

Have you tried scheduling an appointment at your local SSA office and speaking with a representative in person?

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:28 Permalink
Shelly Pentico (not verified)

My Granddaughter was diagosed

My Granddaughter was diagosed with Juvenille Arthritis and her mom has to miss a lot of work becaue the shots every week bring down her immune system and Mom needs to stay home with her due to constant illnesses. How do we apply for social security disability so Mom can get some financial assistance. ?

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 23:35 Permalink
Rose (not verified)

I named my son as beneficiary

I named my son as beneficiary of my pension. He would receive a benefit monthly for life. Since I have already been receiving benefits, I can not change beneficiary to my daughter. I did not know at the time how this would negatively impact his SSI. His SSI is from a temporal lobe injury that was discovered when he was 16. He is now 41. My other question is could he receive my social security benefits when I die? TY Iwill await your response.

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 12:49 Permalink

In reply to by Rose (not verified)

Hi Rose,

Hi Rose,

SSI is based on a very specific income limit, which is why the monthly benefits he is receiving for your pension is effecting his SSI. As for survivor benefits, you can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to apply.

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 17:00 Permalink
Aixa E Rosario (not verified)

How can I get aSSA blue book

How can I get aSSA blue book

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 16:19 Permalink
Duncan Lance (not verified)

There really are a ton of

There really are a ton of reasons why you might want to hire an attorney for your disability benefits case. As the article points out, one of the big reasons is to file necessary appeals. After all, if your case is denied or dismissed then they can help you file a new one for another chance. http://www.jeffbuskirklaw.com/

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 21:46 Permalink
D.D (not verified)

I'm looking for a lawyer

I'm looking for a lawyer to help in my appeal hearing in January. I've been fighting this case for years. This will be my second appeal

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:53 Permalink
Stephen (not verified)

Eho is supposed to file the

Eho is supposed to file the apeal once denied. Is the disability lawyer that is hired supposed to file the apeal or is the applicant supposed to?

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 17:36 Permalink

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