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A third of people who file for disability do not hire a lawyer

I came across an interesting article and something that stuck in my mind is a statement captured in the article and attributed to Nancy Shor, the executive director of NOSSCR, the national organization of social security claimant's representatives. She stated that a third of those individuals who have been denied for social security disability did not hire a lawyer.

I only wish the statement had been clarified a bit. There may be a significant statistical difference between the non-use of a disability attorney following the denial of an initial claim for disability (the appeal step following this would be the request for reconsideration) and following the denial of a reconsideration appeal (the appeal step in this scenario would be a request for reconsideration).

From my own experience, I know that it is at the point following the first denial that many claimants decide to find representation. However, I have no real idea as to how many claimants at this stage of the process choose not to seek representation. And I have no way of knowing how many claimants forego representation at the hearing level, though I have come across the statistic stating that only 40 percent of unrepresented claimants win at a hearing, while a little better than 60 percent of represented claimants win at a hearing.

Obviously, going by the statistics alone, it pays to have a rep at a hearing. And drawing upon my own experience in preparing cases for hearings, I have no doubt whatsoever that claimants who go to disability hearings alone are making an error in judgment, simply because the great majority of claimants will have little to no understanding of the social security definition of disability, the medical vocational grid, substantial gainful activity, the importance of vocational factors, or how to properly gather, evaluate, and submit medical record documentation to an administrative law judge.

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

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Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
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How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled

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 and why to check Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability back pay
Non medical requirements for disability
Qualifying for disability, SSD SSI
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who qualifies for SSI?
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
Filing for disability with Depression
Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits with a Mental Condition
How long for a disability judge to make a decision?
While you are in your disability interview
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
Filing for disability with carpal tunnel syndrome
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Can you work if you get a disability check?
Disability application denied
File for disability, the application
How to get disability benefits
Conditions that get approved for disability
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security