Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
What Will a Disability Lawyer Do to Win a Social Security Case?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
A lawyer specializing in representing claimants in disability cases can definitely be an asset to the individual fighting for disability benefits. This is particularly true if disability determination services (DDS), the state agency in charge of making social security disability determinations, denies the claim at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels, and the case later ends up before an administrative law judge at a disability hearing.
While there are some attorneys who will not take a case until it has been denied, a few others will follow a case from start to finish. A lawyer who represents a claim from the outset will know what medical records are needed to support your claim, and may have more pull when it comes to getting these records back from physicians in a timely manner.
Should your initial claim be denied, and it becomes necessary to request a reconsideration appeal, an attorney will also file the appeal paperwork and make calls to either the social security office or disability agency to check the status of your claim.
However, the real benefit of having a disability lawyer when filing a claim for disability benefits comes at the disability hearing level. As previously stated, many disability attorneys will not take a case until it is necessary to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
A social security disability (SSD) or SSI claim has its best chance of being approved at this third level of consideration, and it cannot be stressed enough that it is a real advantage to have a lawyer represent you at this stage. Statistics show that 60 percent of disability claims are approved by an administrative judge when the case is presented by an attorney, as opposed to 40 percent when there is no legal representation.
If your case has been denied by DDS, it may take an experienced disability attorney to spot any weaknesses in your medical history that may have worked against your claim, as well as any flaws in the disability examiner’s opinion, and submit new medical evidence or updates to the hearing office if necessary.
While it is not necessary to have an attorney in order to win disability benefits, an attorney specializing in SSD or SSI cases can save the claimant a lot of time by submitting the necessary paperwork, making sure deadlines are met, following up with doctors, and checking the status of a claim with the social security office, disability agency, or hearing office.
In addition, a lawyer specializing in SSD or SSI cases will know how to present your case in the strongest possible light, and significantly improve your chance of being awarded disability benefits by an administrative judge.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews