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

When do you need a Disability Lawyer for a Case?

"I have heart trouble due to rheumatic heart disease. I have shortness of breath, headaches and I have liver problems. Do i need a lawyer or just wait for their decision."

My response: The answer I often give is that you wouldn't necessarily need a disability lawyer if your case is pending at the disability application or reconsideration appeal level, but that you should absolutely get social security representation if your case is scheduled for a disability hearing, or if you have simply made a request for a disability hearing and are waiting on the scheduling.

Having said this, however, many individuals will benefit from having a disability representative working on their case at one of the earlier levels for several reasons:

1. A disability representative can ensure that deadlines (such as for appeals) are met.

2. A representative can often assist the claimant with complying with any information requests that are made by the social security administration. Sometimes, this will simply be due to the fact that a claimant's disability attorney will receive copies of whatever correspondence has been sent to the claimant (from the moment that SSA is notified of the fact that the claimant is represented, they will, from that point forward, be obligated to keep both parties (the claimant and their representative) up to date with what is happening on the case.

3. Some disability representatives will be proactive in trying to get the case won as soon as possible without necessarily having to go to a hearing. When a disability case can be proven without the need for requesting a social security hearing, or waiting for a hearing date to be set after a hearing has been scheduled, it can have the effect of saving months, perhaps even as much as a year's worth of time. For a disability claimant who is unable to work, this can make the difference between surviving financially...or not.

Ultimately, when a person will "need" a disability lawyer will be a judgement call. Representation can help at earlier levels. By the same token, many individuals will do ok with waiting until their case has been denied at the reconsideration level. Without any doubt, however, if the claim requires a hearing before a social security judge, the claimant should get representation.

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?

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How long does it take to get SSI Disability Benefits?
When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
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Trying to get disability if you are a woman
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

My Social Security Disability SSI appeal status
Disability back pay, how it works
Eligibility criteria requirements for disability
Qualifying requirements for disability
Decision on disability case, are you eligible for a disability award
When is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Permanent disability benefits
How to qualify for disability with depression
If Social Security sends you to a psychiatrist
Disability denied twice
How to claim disability
How many times will Social Security deny you?
Applying for Disability with high blood pressure
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
How much time for a decision on a disability claim?
Can you work if you get an SSI disability check?
How to File for SSI
Filing for disability, how to apply for SSD, SSI
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
How to get disability
How to appeal a disability denial

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.