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

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.

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

Related pages:

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Social Security Disability, Do Not Take Medication Or Go To Doctor
SSI disability maximum dollar amount
How to get disability with Plantar Fasciitis
How long does it take to get SSI Disability Benefits?
When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
Can I get Retroactive SSI Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability in Massachusetts
What medical conditions get you approved for disability?
Social Security Disability qualifications
Can you Get Disability if you can do Some Daily Activities?
Your age and if you will be approved for disability
Trying to get disability if you are a woman
How to claim disability benefits

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

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