What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Can a Lawyer Speed Up My Disability Case?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Generally, a lawyer or a non-attorney representative helps to keep your disability case on track. And that in itself could speed up the time it takes to process your disability claim.
It is the responsibility of disability lawyers and representatives to file appeal paperwork in a timely manner, either via the online appeal process or on paper. They also generally strive to make sure that you are aware of any upcoming consultative examinations, and just take care of your disability case in general.
Once your disability case is at the state disability agency (disabilility determination services, or DDS) the only thing your lawyer can do is check the status of your disability claim and make sure any information that is needed is provided for the disability examiner (so that your disability case can be processed as quickly as possible).
If your reconsideration appeal is denied, your lawyer may be able to speed up your disability case at the disability hearings appeal level (the disability hearing is the appeal step that follows the request for reconsideration appeal level). Your lawyer can write a "dire need letter" with your help explaining that you are in dire need--meaning that you are about to loose your place to live, your power, or other hardships--and stating that you need to have a hearing as soon as possible.
Of course, this does not guarantee that you will win your disability hearing; it only means you may be able to have the hearing sooner. Then there is the fact that most individuals, these days, are in dire need by the time they get to a hearing if they have not been able to work. The hearings offices receive quite a few dire need requests.
It is just impossible to say if your lawyer can speed up the process in any way. However, they can make sure you file all your appeals timely and that may save time for your wait for disability benefits in general. If you miss an appeal deadline and file your appeal late, you could have to start your disability claim all over.
Sometimes, lawyers will request that the administrative law judge look at your disability file to see if they can make a favorable decision with the records in the file rather than having to wait for a hearing. If the judge can make a favorable decision then that could speed up the time it takes for you to receive benefits. In the end, your lawyer could be very helpful to you in winning disability benefits.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials