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
Who can Help you Apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
In recent posts, I've discussed situations in which applicants for disability, or potential applicants, might require help to apply for Social Security Disability or SSI.
In one of those posts, I mentioned the fact that applicants with mood disorders or memory problems might particularly need assistance in applying for for disability. In another post, I mentioned a situation in which a person failed to "follow through" on a claim for disability (this happens more than people would think) and I expressed my belief that, sometimes, individuals simply need to have someone available who can ensure that a disability claim is filed correctly and that deadlines are met. And in yet another post, I mentioned the story of a person who had filed for disability via the help of a hospital social worker.
1. Can a call from a congressman Help Your Disability Case?
2. Financial Help When You Are Filing For Disability
3. Someone to help you with your Social Security Disability or SSI claim
The point of this post is to point out (sounds redundant, I know) two things. First of all, some indivduals will need assistance in either starting a disability claim or in handling a claim after it has been started. Second, there are individuals out there who can sometimes provide some level of assistance.
1. Social Workers, including hospital social workers and, possibly, adult services social workers (generally found at a local Department of Social Services). The extent to which social workers may render assistance may be limited to getting an application filed. But for some claimants, this is help enough.
2. Disability representatives, as in disability lawyers and non-attorney representatives. You'll find a great amount of variance regarding the level of assistance offered by various reps. Some are interested in taking a case only after a claimant has filed on their own and some will only take cases in which claimants have filed AND have been denied. However, there are some reps who will "go the entire distance" for a claimant. That is, some will actually assist a claimant in getting an application started with social security and then handle the case all the way through to a disability hearing (and to the appeals councial and federal court, if necessary).
3. Independent Disability Advocates - By this, I mean individuals who work at organizations such as independent living centers and offer free assistance for Social Security Disability and SSI claimants. With these types of advocates, there may be an extremely wide degree of variance regarding the level of assistance offered. Some may offer information on applying, some may offer assistance in getting disability applications started, and some may even offer advocacy services at hearings.
Quite honestly, I don't know enough about these types of advocates to apply a broad brush in categorizing what they do. However, I would be hesitant to give a blanket recommendation to this type of advocate for something as important as a Social Security Disability or SSI disability hearing. Reason: hearings take a LONG time to get to and you don't want, for lack of a better phrase, an amateur for a rep.
Quite the opposite, you want someone who understands the actual adjudication process for SSD and SSI claims and understands working concepts such as closed periods, substantial gainful activity, the medical vocational grid, the issue of medication compliance, the importance of the opinion offered by a treating physician, DAA materiality, medical onset versus alleged onset, date of entitlement, etc, etc, etc. I'll say it again---disability hearings are too important and have too much at stake to use anyone other than someone who fully understands the Social Security Disability SSI system and what is required to win a case at the hearing level.
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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
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Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
Social Security Disability attorneys and representatives
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Rules and requirements to apply for disability
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Apply for disability for any medical condition
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
If your disability claim is approved or denied
Social Security Award letter for SSD, SSI
Temporary Social Security Disability SSI
Social Security Disability SSI reviews
How social security evaluates attention deficit
Filing for disability with Post polio syndrome
Tips for Getting Disability Approved
How far back Social Security will pay SSDI or SSI
SSI award notices are received by approved claimants
Winning and getting disability with a mental condition
Getting disability for rheumatoid arthritis
Can you work if you get Disability?
Who qualifies for SSI and how
How to file for disability and where to apply
Conditions that may qualify as disability
Denied on a disability application
Answering questions at a Social Security Disability hearing
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.