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

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.

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

Related pages:

Will Social security Disability do a medical review
A disability hearing in person is better than by video
Decline a video disability hearing for in person hearing
Temporary Social Security Disability SSI
Filing for disability with graves disease
How to file for disability in Nebraska
Degenerative disc disease and applying for disability
Social Security Disability SSI reviews
If you appeal a disability denial, how long to receive a decision?
How long does it take for an examiner to review a disability case?
Decision process for disability
How to win disability without a hearing
Disability benefit help
How to file for disability in Iowa
What does Social Security Disability SSI pay, how much?

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

Social Security Disability attorneys and representatives
What is the status of your social security disability or SSI case
Rules and requirements to apply for disability
Will I qualify for disability?
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