Topic Categories:

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

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Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

Disability representation will generally increase a claimant's statistical odds of approval. This is most evident at the disability hearing level where the decision is made by a federal administrative law judge who, very often, will have choose to have a medical expert and/or a vocational expert present for the purpose of providing expert testimony.

However, even at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels, disability representation can result in faster decision times, the need for fewer appeals, and more favorable onset dates that allow for the payment of greater amounts in Social Security or SSI back pay benefits.

1. Is there a way to check the Credentials of a Disability Lawyer?
You can inquire as to whether or not a disability lawyer is board-certified; however, this is probably a great waste of time.

2. When will a disability lawyer decide to take your case?
Disability lawyers who decline to assist someone based on one of these reasons are becoming more of a minority.

3. Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability?
The question becomes, should you get a disability lawyer before you even file for disability, or before you receive an answer on your application for disability? And the answer, as we pointed out, is often no. However, there are cases in which early representation is a good option.

4. Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Here is a short list of considerations for those who are considering getting representation before their case is denied.

5. Disability Attorneys- Will they do your forms for you?
Some Social Security disability attorneys and non-attorney representatives help their clients file their initial claim. However, most attorneys and non-attorney representatives do not get involved with Social Security disability claims until the appeal process.

6. Will a Disability attorney try to Help You get Your Medical Records for your SSD or SSI claim?
Some representatives require their clients to pay the cost of obtaining the records up front, and this can be hard for disability applicants, who typically have an income that has already been significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether, due to their medical condition.

7. Do I Need a Lawyer for My Social Security Disability Hearing?
Although you are not required to have any sort of legal representation at a disability hearing, statistics show that those who have an attorney are far more likely to be approved for benefits than those who choose to represent themselves.

8. What if I go to a Social Security hearing without an Attorney or a Disability Representative?
Claimants who appear at hearings unrepresented and win their benefits will most likely do so because the medical evidence supporting their case is fairly obvious.

9. Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing? By What Methods?
If you have representation on your social security disability or SSI disability claim, your disability attorney can attempt to speed up the scheduling of your hearing before an administrative law judge, or even eliminating the need for a hearing altogether. Generally, this would only be possible in one of several ways.

10. How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
How will a Social Security Representative or lawyer help you win Social Security Disability or SSI benefits? The simplest answer is by preparing a case and argument that is supported by objective medical evidence and which justifies either a listing level approval or a medical vocational awarding of benefits.

11. How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
All Social Security representatives, including disability attorneys and non-attorney disability representatives, are entitled to receive 25 percent of a claimant's back payment for a case that they win.

12. Do Social Security Disability and SSI Lawyers Require A Retainer? (Fees and costs)
Disability attorneys or representatives receive one fourth of any back payment of benefits that are due the disability beneficiary or their dependents (spouse or children) up to the maximum fee amount allowable.

13. Does Social Security pay the Disability Attorney fee?
First, a direct answer to the question: if you are represented and your case is won, in all likelihood, Social Security will deduct whatever fee is owed to your representative out of the back pay amount that you are owed.

14. What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Incidental expenses could include but are not limited to medical records, vocational experts, phone calls, travel, copying, etc.

15. Disability Lawyer Success Rate - Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
There are reasons why disability lawyers and Social Security representatives have a higher approval rate than disability applicants at their disability hearing.

16. Should you ask a Disability Lawyer About Their Win Rate and How Many Cases They get Approved?
If you are speaking with a possible representative to handle your social security disability or SSI disability claim, should you ask about their win rate? You can, but the answer would, most likely be meaningless.

17. How Do You Switch Your Disability Lawyer?
If you determine that you are going to switch disability lawyers or representatives, you should send a letter to both Social Security and your current disability lawyer stating that you no longer wish for them to represent your disability claim. Also, you should request that your current disability lawyer send a letter of withdrawal from your claim to Social Security.

18. How Do You Fire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
You can fire your disability lawyer at any time if you feel your claim is not receiving the attention it deserves, and in some cases this is absolutely the best option.

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