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
What does a Disability Lawyer do to help you?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you have decided to file for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) , you may wish to consider obtaining the services of a lawyer to help with your Social Security disability claim. I will warn you that many representatives do not take Social Security disability claims until they have been denied at the initial level, i.e. when you are ready to begin the Social Security disability appeals process.
That being said, there are many lawyers who will take initial disability claim filings, if they feel it is in their client's best interest to have a representative maintain all their paperwork through the entire Social Security disability process.
What does a lawyer do for you once you have obtained their services? Some lawyers will fill out all of your paperwork for you, while others will send the paperwork for you to fill out and return. Additionally, if your lawyer is helping you with your initial claim, they may fill out your forms online and schedule a disability interview with Social Security for you. This saves you time when you file your disability claim with the Social Security Administration.
Paperwork is just one thing a Social Security lawyer can help you with, however. Generally, once you have entered into an agreement with a lawyer they will file all of your appeals for you as well. Basically, you do not have to worry about filing your appeals because your lawyer should be handling that for you.
All of the services mentioned above are important, however the most important level of the disability process at which to have the services of a lawyer is at the disability hearing.
You may be thinking, "I do not have to have a lawyer to have a disability hearing before an administrative law judge" and you would be correct in your thoughts. However, Social Security disability hearings are like other hearings, in that you need to have knowledge of the Social Security disability rules and regulations to present your disability claim in the most favorable light.
In fact, statistics indicate that disability claims with a lawyer have a higher chance of winning disability benefits than those disability claims without representation.
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