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

Will you need an attorney for disability if you have a mental condition?

While some may argue the necessity of representation on a disability claim at various points in the process, some individuals will clearly need an attorney for disability if they have a mental condition that either A. impairs their ability to comprehend the disability application process or B. impairs their ability to follow-through on applying for disability or appealing a disability denial.

Why might this be the case? In a prior post, I mentioned a situation involving a woman who had attempted to apply for disability based on depression, but had not been able to follow through and complete the necessary paperwork due to her condition. In her case, she would have benefited from early representation.

However, there are other examples of individuals with a mental condition who would have benefited from the involvement of a disability attorney.

1. Individuals with attention deficit.

2. Individuals who have suffered a stroke and have comprehension and memory deficits as a result.

3. Individuals who have conditions that may involve a mental fog, such as fibromyalgia.

4. Individuals who have low IQ, MR, or have low literacy.

5. Individuals with bipolar disorder or other mood disorders.

How will a Social Security Representative or lawyer help your claim?

Having representation can avoid situations where a case might drag on needlessly due to simple things like not returning or completing paperwork.

An attorney can substantially assist your claim by making sure that all of your appeal paperwork is filed timely and correctly. A fairly large percentage of individuals who apply for social security disability or SSI either do not return their appeal forms on time, or leave out information that would be helpful to winning their case.

However, case preparation is the primary benefit of representation. And the level of the system at which most disability lawyers or Social Security representatives improve their client’s chances of winning disability is the administrative law judge disability hearing.

Once you are at the hearings level, your lawyer will make an argument for approval based on your medical evidence, work history, functional limitations, educational background and age.

The "case theory" that is advanced to the administrative law judge presiding over the hearing will be based on Social Security administrative law and procedure, which includes applicability of grid framework rules (the grid rules direct decisions on the majority of claims), the code of federal regulations, the sequential evaluation process used by both examiners and judges, and the various SSRs (Social Security rulings) that may apply.

The lawyer, or representative, will attempt to secure an approval of your claim by either proving that you have a medical condition that meets a listing in the Social Security list of impairments, or by proving that your medical condition limits your functional abilities to the extent that you cannot return to any type of work activity that allows you to earn a substantial and gainful income.

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

Related pages:

How to File for SSI
How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
Disability requirements and how to file in Illinois
How do I apply for disability, when
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
How do you Apply for SSI?
Determining Social Security Disability and SSI eligibility
What Forms Do You Use to File For Social Security Disability?
How a Social Security Disability or SSI award is made
What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?

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

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives