Disability Claims Representatives are people who represent those who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits. They are usually lawyers, paralegals, or other legal professionals practicing Social Security Disability cases. However, claims representatives are not always disability attorneys.
You may appoint whomever you like as a claims representative for your Social Security Disability case by notifying the Social Security Administration of your intentions in writing. However, in order to receive fees or other payments for their services, claims representatives must be qualified and approved by the Social Security Administration.
While you may technically appoint whomever you choose, most Social Security claims representatives are qualified lawyers. The very reason for appointing someone rather than handling your claim and appeals by yourself is that you need someone more familiar with the laws, regulations, and procedures regarding Social Security Disability. Because of this, it makes sense to appoint a claims representative who practice Social Security Disability law.
In most cases, disability claims representatives will only charge you or their services if your Social Security Disability claim is ultimately approved. Disability representatives receive a percentage of your back pay as compensation for their work on your claim. This percentage cannot exceed 25% of the back pay you are entitled to. In most cases, disability claims representatives do not collect from you if your claim does not make it through the appeals process successfully. In any case, they must be approved by the SSA before collecting fees for their services.
In most cases, it is to your advantage to have a professional claims representative represent you. You are entitled to representation by a disability claims representative at every step of the claims process, from the time you first state your intent to file through Federal Court, if necessary. Social Security claims representatives improve your chances of approval at each tier of the claims and appeals process because they are thoroughly familiar with the workings of the Social Security Disability system, and know how to best present the evidence of your disability.