Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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