Although you are not required to hire an attorney at any point during the Social Security Disability application process, we advise you to retain the services of an attorney prior to submitting your initial application.
Do You Need a Lawyer to File For Social Security Disability Benefits?
Applying for social security disability benefits can be frustrating and challenging. Many disability benefits applications are rejected by the Social Security Administration (SSA) initially and applicants then may have to appeal the decision.
There is no legal reason why you should hire a lawyer. It is not compulsory. However, many disability benefits applicants find that the experience and knowledge that a disability lawyer has can help them through the benefits application process.
Disability benefit lawyers can help at any stage of an application, but if your application has been denied, then you will find that it would be more difficult to win an appeal without the help of a lawyer. Generally, if you are going to hire a lawyer, the sooner you do so the better. This is because the lawyer has helped many disability applications before and understands the criteria established by the SSA to determine whether an application should be approved.
Many applications are denied because there is insufficient evidence to support the person’s claim that they have a serious disability that prevents them from working for at least the next 12 months. The disability lawyer can help by examining what documentation you have available before the application is filed with the SSA and give an opinion about the likelihood that the application has a good chance of acceptance or not.
There should be no financial constraint on hiring a disability lawyer as their legal fees cannot be charged in advance. They are deducted as a percentage of the back pay received from the SSA only after an application has finally been approved.
What to Know About the Initial Application Process
Many applicants are under the impression that applying for disability benefits is as simple as filling out a few forms. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. The initial application process requires extensive paperwork, medical records, meeting Blue Book criteria, and personal information.
It’s very easy to make mistakes or errors that could compromise your eligibility. In fact, over 60 percent of initial applications are denied.
Should I Get A Lawyer Before Applying For Disability?
If you are unable to work and earn a living because of a medical condition, you will want to apply for disability benefits. You should contact a disability attorney before applying disability.
You can retain an attorney at any time during the claims process, but usually, the earlier you retain a disability attorney, the better off your claim will be. Often, a disability lawyer will help you get your claim approved much more quickly.
If you enlist the help of a disability lawyer before you file your claim for benefits, the lawyer can help you evaluate the strength of your claim before you apply. Your disability attorney can help you gather the supporting evidence and medical documentation that your claim needs to be successful. If you have already applied and are denied disability, you should still consider enlisting the help of a lawyer for Social Security disability.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has released reports that indicate that claimants with legal representation are much more likely to be awarded disability benefits. A lawyer will help you through the process and will file all the necessary paperwork your claim needs if your claim is denied, and you must appeal the decision.
You want to proceed with your claim before time runs out, so you do not have to start the claims process from the beginning again.
Disability attorneys will not require payment until your claim has been approved, and at that time, they will receive a percentage of your backpay as allowed by the SSA and federal law. Ask for a free consultation with a disability attorney to help ensure your claim is on track.
Benefits of Working with a Lawyer
Hiring an attorney prior to submitting your application will increase your chances of approval and help you avoid the appeals process. A disability attorney or disability advocate will be familiar with the Social Security review process and the rules that govern eligibility.
He or she can assist you in compiling the necessary documentation to prove, beyond a doubt, that you are disabled and eligible for disability benefits.
An attorney can also review the information in your initial application to find any inconsistencies or missing elements that are crucial to proving your disability. The information in your initial application remains a part of your permanent claim for benefits. This means that any errors or omissions may have an affect your claim throughout the entire process.
If your claim has already been denied and you don’t have an attorney, it is important that you hire one to assist you throughout the appeals process.
Popular Questions About Hiring a Disability Lawyer
Why should I have a lawyer for my hearing?
The Social Security Act, as well the all the various factors that go into determining can be quite in depth and complex. Having a lawyer working on your behalf will be a big help at your hearing as opposed of you doing it on your own.
Does having a lawyer help speed up the process?
Having a lawyer working on your behalf depending on the situation may be able to help expedite your application and may be able to help make the entire process go faster.
Can a disability lawyer help get my paperwork in order?
Yes, a disability lawyer can make sure all of your paperwork and medical records are up to date and in order with your initial application. Your lawyer may also help get a letter of recommendation from your doctor, which can go a long way in the application process.
How is a Social Security Lawyer Paid?
If you are concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, you should know that your attorney is not allowed to be paid unless you are awarded benefits. Once you are awarded benefits there are certain rules put in place that limit the amount of money he or she can charge.
The SSA states that an attorney cannot charge more than $6,000 or 25% of your back pay. Payment will be taken directly from your award and sent to the attorney by the SSA to avoid any extra charges.
To find out how much money you could receive in disability benefits, use our Social Security Benefits Calculator.