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

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.

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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
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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

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.