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

Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only

A lawyer who handles Social Security Disability and SSI disability claims can certainly make a difference in the decisional outcome of a case. And, typically, the greatest benefits from representation will occur at the Social Security Disability hearing.

Having said that, however, it is still worth noting that some disability representatives employ habits and practices that are not entirely helpful when it comes to the outcome of a case. And, more often than not, these practices occur on the part of disability representatives who do not specialize solely in Social Security Disability and SSI, but rather only do occasional cases here and there while also working in other areas of law. The reality is that Social Security Disability and SSI disability claims are demanding with regard to the depth and breadth of information that a representative should know.

Here's a short list of those less-than-helpful practices.

1. Some representatives turn in disability forms that are not completed and submit applications with missing paperwork. What is the result of this? The result is that the Social Security claims representative or claims specialist (not to be confused with a claimant's representative such as a disability lawyer) will need to contact the claimant to obtain the needed paperwork. This, of course, consumes valuable time and promotes delays which are not helpful to a claimant's case.

2. Some disability representatives may disadvantage their clients by filing Social Security Disability appeals untimely. When this happens (when a claimant misses an appeal deadline), a claimant may be forced to start over with a new disability application. Obviously, this can results in months of lost and valuable time, during which a claimant's financial situation can become considerably worse.

3. Some disability attorneys fail to thoroughly read a claimant's disability file before a disability hearing with an administrative law judge takes place. In fact, in every hearing office jurisdiction, there may be one or more attorneys who have the distinction of not reading files until the very day of a hearing. This type of slipshod preparation clearly disadvantages the claimant who has waited, perhaps, up to two years, for their "chance" to win their disability benefits at a hearing.

4. Some disability lawyers fail to get an RFC from a claimant's treating physician. What is an RFC and why is it important? An RFC form is a form on which a doctor may indicate the functional limitations and restrictions which a claimant has as a result of their condition, or conditions. In fact, RFC stands for residual functional capacity. RFC forms are used by social security at the intial claim and reconsideration levels by doctors who work for social security.

However, in most cases, RFC forms that are used by social security are used to turn down disability claims. Despite this fact, though, an RFC form that is completed by a claimant's treating physician, and which is presented to a judge at a hearing, can provide a strong basis for an approval of a disability case. For this reason, a disability representative should always strive to obtain a completed RFC form from a claimant's doctors (treating physicians). And attorneys who do not do this needlessly disadvantage their clients.

In short, many disability claims are disadvantaged due to shoddy preparations made by their representatives. Take a proactive role in your disability claim, by questioning the methods your representative uses, particulary if your claim is headed to the hearing level. And be sure to inquire whether or not the person who might handle your case really does specialize in disability claims, or just simply dabbles now and then. It can make a significant difference in their level of competence.

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, SSI, and Residual Functional Capacity, RFC
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
A Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
What is the process for approving a Social Security Disability claim?
When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
When you apply for Social Security Disability should you send copies of your xrays?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
How does Social Security consider pain?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida

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.