When should I look for representation for my disability claim?

When should I seek representation for my disability claim?

The time you should seek professional representation for your disability claim really depends on you. The reasons for seeking representation are as varied as the individuals who apply for Social Security Disability.

If you are able to complete an initial disability interview on your own and by that I mean you are able to provide your personal information, medical treatment, and types of work your performed prior to becoming disabled, you should be able to handle it without the help of a Social Security representative or lawyer.

The same really goes for your reconsideration appeal if your initial claim is denied. You can file your reconsideration online or you can complete and return paper forms to your local Social Security office. Basically, the reconsideration appeal is just an update of your medical information, so it is fairly easy to complete. Just remember you have sixty days to get the appeal back to your local Social Security office from the date of your denial notice.

On the other hand, if you have disabling conditions that might affect your ability to complete the necessary paperwork. For example, if you have a mental condition that causes you to have significant problems with memory, you might want to seek representation with your initial disability claim so they can handle your disability claim and/or your reconsideration appeal if your initial claim is denied.

It is most advisable to seek the services of a competent Social Security representative or lawyer with your hearing appeal. If your initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal have been denied, it is safe to assume you do not have a disability claim that is a clear-cut approval. You are going to need the services of someone who understands Social Security law and medical vocational guidelines to present your case to an administrative law judge. They will present the medical and vocational evidence that supports a finding of disability and they can present it in an objective non-emotional manner.

Most disability applicants are in dire financial straits by the time they get to their hearing and they need someone that can improve their chance of being approved.

In summary, if you are capable of handling your initial disability claim and/or reconsideration, there is no problem in seeing what your decisions are. If you are not able to keep up with things, by all means seek out the services of representative to help you with your initial and/or reconsideration appeal. No matter what you decide to do with your initial claim or reconsideration appeal, you should get representation for your disability hearing appeal. After all, your goal is to win your disability claim, so you should do what you can to improve your chances of being approved.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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