My response: Anonymous, the answer I often give is that you wouldn't necessarily need a disability lawyer if your case is pending at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level, but that you should absolutely get social security representation if your case is scheduled for a disability hearing, or if you have simply made a request for a disability hearing and are waiting on the scheduling.
Having said this, however, many individuals will benefit from having a disability representative working on their case at one of the earlier levels for several reasons:
1. A disability representative can ensure that deadlines (such as for appeals) are met.
2. A representative can often assist the claimant with complying with any information requests that are made by the social security administration. Sometimes, this will simply be due to the fact that a claimant's disability attorney will receive copies of whatever correspondence has been sent to the claimant (from the moment that SSA is notified of the fact that the claimant is represented, they will, from that point forward, be obligated to keep both parties (the claimant and their representative) up to date with what is happening on the case.
3. Some disability representatives will be proactive in trying to get the case won as soon as possible without necessarily having to go to a hearing. When a disability case can be proven without the need for requesting a social security hearing, or waiting for a hearing date to be set after a hearing has been scheduled, it can have the effect of saving months, perhaps even as much as a year's worth of time. For a disability claimant who is unable to work, this can make the difference between surviving financially...or not.
Ultimately, when a person will "need" a disability lawyer will be a judgement call. Representation can help at earlier levels. By the same token, many individuals will do ok with waiting until their case has been denied at the reconsideration level. Without any doubt, however, if the claim requires a hearing before a social security judge, the claimant should get representation.
Additional Information on:
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Questions
- Social Security Disability Hearing with a Judge
- Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security benefits?
- Social Security Disability and Going In Front Of A Judge - What Happens?
- Disability Hearings - how many are won?
- How Likely Is It That A Social Security Disability Claim Will Be Won Prior To The Hearing Level?
- WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF WINNING A SOCIAL SECURITY HEARING FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS?
- How long does it take to get a social security disability hearing decision?
- Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing - Documentation that is needed
- Social Security Disability Hearing - How Do I Request One?
- Can You Appeal A Decision By A Judge On A Social Security Disability or SSI Case?
- Responsibilities of the Disability Representative Before and After the Social Security Hearing
- What Will a Disability Lawyer Do to Win a Social Security Case?
- Appealing a Social Security Disability or SSI Denial with a Disability Hearing Before an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge)
- Can I get my Social Security Disability Hearing Request Expedited, Speeded up?
Homepage for the: Social Security Disability Resource Center