Why does Social Security deny you when you have a lawyer?
Social Security has standard rules and guidelines to make their medical disability determinations and, as such, a lawyer, cannot guarantee an approval. If your disability claim is at the initial level or a reconsideration appeal, there is not much a lawyer or representative can do.
But, if you have problems keeping up with things, a lawyer or representative can be helpful by making sure to remind you of exams or serve as a another point of contact for disability examiners. They will also make sure your reconsideration appeal is filed timely if your initial disability claim is denied. They become more necessary if your reconsideration appeal is denied.
Your next appeal is a request for a disability hearing. Your hearing will be held in an informal courtroom setting with an administrative law judge presiding. At this juncture, it is wise to have someone who is knowledgeable about Social Security vocational and medical guidelines, rules and regulations, and case law. They will present your disability claim in a way that is most favorable for your being approved for benefits.
While statistical data suggests that disability cases with representation are more likely to result in an approval than claims that have no lawyer or representative, there is still no guarantee that a lawyer will prevent your disability claim from receiving a denial. All disability claims still boil down to the medical evidence contained in the disability file.
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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