How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

When is the time to get a disability lawyer?

Some people will get an attorney or non-attorney representative at the very start; however; most wait until they receive their initial disability decision. That isn't a bad approach to take. At the initial disability claim level, i.e. the application, a representative usually has very little involvement with the case. If you obtain representation at this stage of the process, you will have to pay a fee if the case is won and there is a back payment of benefits. In most cases, that will be a fee paid for not much being done on your behalf.

How much is the attorney fee? This is set by law. The Social Security representation fee is 25% of your back payment or 6000.00 whichever is less. So, if you have a lawyer at the very beginning and you win...you would have to pay that fee if you are approved, even if the representative has not yet performed any service.

When you should get a disability lawyer from the beginning

Now, having said that, this does not mean all disability applicants should exclude the idea of getting a disability representative when they first file. For example, if you have memory problems or other conditions that would make it difficult for you to provide the necessary information to aid in the processing of your disability claim, it could be wise to have a disability lawyer or representative to handle your disability claim for you.

This is how it should go for most individuals, though. If your disability application is denied and you do not feel you are able to complete your appeal online or via paper forms, it may be time to consider a competent disability lawyer or representative. They can file your reconsideration appeal for you to make sure you do not exceed the 60 day appeal period. This is important, of course. If you do not file your reconsideration appeal timely, you may have to begin your disability claim again.

Certainly, if your reconsideration appeal is denied, it may be time to get a disability representative. Simply because the next level of the Social Security Disability appeal process is a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. While these hearings are somewhat informal, they still involve a judge and complex disability vocational rules. It would be prudent for you to have a lawyer/representative who is familiar with the case law and medical vocational rules that may help you win your disability claim. The wait time for a disability hearing is more than 24 months in some areas; therefore you would want to give your disability claim the best chance of being approved.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Social Security Disability for insomnia or sleep disorders

What does a child get if a person is approved for disability?

Will working part-time affect my SSD?

How long do you have to be out of work to get disability benefits?

Can disability be denied because of not enough doctor visits?

Can I get Social Security Disability off my spouse’s record?

Do I need an attorney to get disability?

Getting the Status of your Disability Hearing Request

Will I be sent to my own doctor for a disability examination for SSD or SSI?

Disability Judges and getting information for your disability claim decision

What do I do after being denied disability?

Can I receive temporary SSI disability benefits?

How to get an SSDI reconsideration appeal approved

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.