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

Get an experienced disability lawyer, not one that makes mistakes

If you have not yet hired a disability attorney and are due to appear before a judge in a Social Security Disability hearing, then now is the time to seek legal counsel. Statistics show that those who are represented by a disability lawyer at their hearing are fifty percent more likely to win disability benefits than those claimants who represent themselves.

However, hiring an attorney does not ensure a good outcome for your case; in some cases even experienced disability lawyers will “drop the ball,” causing your claim to be denied, and forcing you to start over again at square one.

You can increase the odds of receiving adequate representation from your disability lawyer if you watch out for the following attorney missteps:

1. Attorney is not familiar with the particulars of the case. Unfortunately, there are some disability attorneys and non attorney reps who are known for not even reading the file until the day of the hearing. No lawyer can adequately represent a disability claimant without a firm grasp of the claimant’s medical condition, work history, etc. If you suspect your lawyer is not taking an interest in your case, find better representation.

2. Attorney misses deadline for filing. This is a big one—a claimant may be forced to start all over with a new disability application if a disability lawyer does not file on time. As previously stated, the process of application at the state disability agency level can take months or years, during which time you may find you are unable to work, and without benefits. Do not be afraid to call your lawyer to remind him or her of approaching deadlines.

3. Attorney submits incomplete paperwork. Your case cannot move forward until all the required forms are completed and submitted. The claims representative ( CR), the social security employee assigned to process your claim, will delay your case if forms are incomplete or are missing, and will have no choice but to contact you personally for the information.

4. Attorney does not get a residual functional capacity (RFC) statement from claimant’s doctor. An RFC is a form on which a claimant’s treating physician states what activities an individual is no longer able to perform as a result of their condition. Although it is true that RFC forms generated by social security are often used as the basis for rejecting disability claims, at the hearing level an RFC from your own doctor, supporting your condition, can only help your case. Make sure your attorney has an RFC from your physician on file before going to a hearing.

Remember, although an administrative law judge is statistically more likely to grant your claim for disability than your local state Social Security Disability agency, there are no guarantees, even when you have legal representation. Keep a close eye on your case, and don’t be afraid to check up on your disability attorney well in advance of your "day in court".

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

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

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Filing for disability with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
Appealing a denial of Social Security Disability or SSI
Social Security Definition of disability for a child
24 month waiting period and Social Security Disability
How your past work affects your Social Security Disability or SSI decision?
How long does your condition have to last to qualify for disability?
What SSA means by disabled and disability
What Income Will Affect Your Disability Benefits? (Workers Compensation, Wages etc)
Social Security Disability - What is considered earned income versus unearned income?
The amount of back pay that you receive
If You Get Social Security Disability or SSI, Will Your Dependents Get A Check?
How to file for disability, tips to start
How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Hashimoto's Disease and Filing for Disability

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What mental problems qualify for disability?
SSI disability status
How to prove you qualify for disability
Qualifying for disability eligibility requirements
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled
How much does disability pay?
Factors involved in Winning SSDI or SSI Claims
Applying for disability with Degenerative Disc Disease
How long to get a Social Security decision letter?
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
The amount of back pay that you receive
Social Security medical disability determination process
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security Disability benefits?
How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Can you work if you get SSI disability?
Social Security Disability attorney fees
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What are the non medical requirements for disability
How to get SSI
Approved for disability benefits
SSD SSI disability hearing decision

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.