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
Going to a disability hearing without an attorney
Social Security does not require any disability applicant to have a lawyer or representative. You can handle your own case at the disability application step, and at the reconsideration appeal step. You are allowed to represent your own disability claim at an ALJ disability hearing when you go before the administrative law judge.
And if a judge turns you down, you can, on your own, submit an appeal to the appeals council. And if the appeals council turns you down, you can even represent yourself pro se at the federal district court level.
However, those last two appeals would be unnecessary if you won your disability claim at a hearing. Which brings up the question, “Should you have your disability hearing without a lawyer?”
The answer to this question will almost always be no. In general terms, it is foolish to go to a hearing unrepresented. This is true even if the individual seeking disability benefits is a lawyer themselves. And it is still true even if they are a disability lawyer.
In nearly any court-type setting, he who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.
Why? For most individuals who are not lawyers themselves, it is not wise to think that they know how disability claims are worked on and decided. Disability examiners who decide cases are trained for months simply to be able to understand terms and concepts, as well as interpret medical evidence. It is unlikely that an average person will know any of this. It will be more likely that they will highly disadvantage themselves at the hearing.
Which is why many judges will simply tell the person who shows up alone that the hearing can be rescheduled if they wish to look for representation.
In short, it takes a long time to get to a disability hearing. Going to a hearing unrepresented presumes that the individual knows far more than they could possibly know. And that’s most likely how the judge will see it also.
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?
Filing a disability application
How to apply for disability
How the decision on the disability application gets made
How and where to file for disability
What is the disability application is denied?
How much information should you put on a disability application?
What is the disabiilty application process?
How do you get an SSI disability application and Claim started?
The first step to Apply For Disability
What happens after I file for disability?
What do you do after You Apply for Disability?
What Happens When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New Jersey?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New Jersey
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Do I need an attorney to win disability?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability?
Will a Judge give you an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical conditions
Social Security Disability lawyer fee
Can a lawyer or attorney speed up my disability case?
When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
Going to a medical exam for Social Security Disability or SSI
Filing for disability - How to file the disability application
Do you need a lawyer to file for disability?
How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
The Social Security Disability Award Letter
Social Security Disability SSI Eligibility Requirements
How Many Times Will you be denied before You Get Approved for Disability?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
How to Prove disability and qualify to win benefits
How to speed up the disability process
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes
What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
Maximum back pay you can get from Social Security Disability or SSI
How to qualify for disability
What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?
What is considered a disability by Social Security?
How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How does back pay for Social Security Disability work?
Your Social Security Disability Status
How do you find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?
How to check Social Security Disability Status
Applying for disability, what medical conditions can you apply for?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
How much does disability pay?
Can I get permanent Social Security Disability or SSI?
How long will it take to get a disability decision letter?
Social Security Disability and SSI Medical Exams
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security Disability?
How Long to get a Disability Hearing decision?
How long to get disability benefits after you receive an award notice?
Social Security Disability and Working
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
How Much Income Can A Person Earn If He Draws Social Security Disability?
Partial disability benefits from Social Security
Can I Qualify For Disability for Depression?
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.