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
Should I be Represented by a Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Disability Representative?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
A Social Security Disability case or SSI disability case should always be handled and represented by a specialist.
This means that if you have an attorney working on your claim, the attorney should be one that specializes in the representation of SSD and SSI claims versus an attorney that only devotes a percentage of his or her total workload to social security cases and devotes the rest of their workload to, for example, a combination of traffic, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases.
Why do you want a specialist? For the most practical reason, really. The disability system administered by the Social security Administration is a complex system of case law and regulatory and administrative procedure (which is why the federal judges that make decisions on claims at the hearing level are ALJs, or administrative law judges).
To fully understand how cases are decided, how they are processed (by disability examiners who make decisions on each disability application filed), and how and why a case is either approved or denied, it takes a specialist.
This is particularly evident when you take into consideration the fact that a disability representative should be able to review a claimant's file and quickly and easily understand the following:
1. The medical evidence - Was all the medical evidence gathered? Was some of it missed when the disability examiner requested the claimant's records. Was some of it not properly considered? Was the evidence properly evaluated?
This last question is especially important since the medical evidence is used to determine the claimant's residual functional capacity which allows the disability examiner to decide whether or not the claimant is capable of going back to work.
2. The decision that was made on the case - A disability representative who is an experienced specialist will be able to review the history of the case and understand what medical-vocational rule was employed to direct a decision of disabled or not disabled.
Likewise, a specialist will be able to ascertain whether or not a case processing error was made, or what the prospects are for approval should the claim be appealed.
An attorney who only occasionally represents social security disability cases and SSI cases will, typically, have less understanding of how the federal system works and, as a result, a claimant who has such a representative will potentially be a grave disadvantage if this type of representative handles their case.
How can a claimant know if their disability attorney, or prospective attorney, specializes in social security law, or only handles the occasional claim? The easiest way to to do this is visit the attorney's website, or to simply ask them on the phone if they specialize in social security, or represent other types of legal cases.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Topics and Questions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
What are the Application Requirements For SSI Disability
If you get denied on a disability appeal can you get another appeal?
Do the Results of the Social Security Psychological Exam have any Bearing on Being Approved?
Applying for disability benefits in California
When are you allowed to get a Disability Lawyer?
Why do I need an attorney for Social Security disability?
You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply
How Often Does Social Security Disability Review Cases?
What Benefits come with SSI Disability?
Responsibilities of the Disability Representative Before and After the Social Security Hearing
When will a disability lawyer decide to take your case?
Will my disability case be reviewed after I have been approved for disability benefits?
What Does Social Security Disability and SSI Include As Your Past Work?
Why does it take so long for social security to get medical records?
What happens after I file my disability claim?
The difference between an Application for disability and a Social Security Reconsideration?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved?
Can you still Appeal if the Judge denies your Disability Claim?
Reconsideration of a disability denial-what does it involve?
Why are Disability Cases Involving Children More Likely to be Denied?
After a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
What are Social Security Disability and SSI Concurrent Benefits?
How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
How long does a social security disability hearing last?
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Can you get Social Security Disability or SSI for a Temporary Disability?
What is the Social Security definition of disability ?
Does Level of Education or Age Matter for Social Security Disability or SSI?
What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?
Are SSI and SSD disability claims denied by social security for lack of evidence?
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Do You Have To Be Out Of Work For A Long Time Before You Can File For Disability?
How much does Disability Pay?
Applying for Disability - what are the rules?
What does the Severity of your impairment have to do with Your Disability Claim?
Appealing A Social Security Disability Denial – How Often Is This Successful?
If I File For Disability And Want An Attorney To Represent Me, Does Social Security Cover My Legal Fees?
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Tennessee
What is The Difference Between The Social Security Disability Application And The Disability Report Form?
Applying for disability benefits in Minnesota
Are SSDI and SSI Benefits Normally Continued After A Continuing Disability Review?
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