Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    New and featured pages on

    Social Security Disability Requirements

    Social Security Disability list of impairments

    Social Security Disability Application

    Can you get disability for arthritis of the knee?

    How much income can you earn on Social Security disability?

    If you get denied at a disability hearing, can you win later?

    How much can an attorney charge for Social Security disability?

    Can you get approved for disability based on Ulcerative Colitis?

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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