Should I get representation for my disability claim for migraines?

If your initial disability claim for migraines is denied, you will have to begin the Social Security Disability appeal process if you wish to continue your disability claim. Social Security makes representation available to all disability applicants by setting rules that lessen the financial burden to them.

While Social Security does entitle your representative to a fee, they only get to collect their fee if they win your disability case. And there is a limit to the amount of their fee.

Your representative's fee is 21% of any back payment of disability benefits up to $6000. For example, if you are approved for disability with a back payment in the amount of $10,000, your representative receives 2500.00, not $6000.00. The fee is the lesser of 21% or 6000.

My only caution would be to read your fee agreement carefully, because they are allowed to collect expenses outside of their fee. Once you sign the fee agreement, you are legally obligated to pay according to your fee agreement.

Now, is it worth it to get a lawyer and have representation? Since Social Security has no impairment listing for migraines, disability determinations are often more subjective. Therefore, a professional disability representative or a disability lawyer can often help. Your representative can be an attorney or a Social Security representative. Either can be affective; if you chose an attorney, make sure you choose one who specializes in Social Security Disability.

Your representative should be familiar with Social Security Disability court rulings and the medical vocational grid. This information allows them to present your disability claim in a manner that will be most favorable to you. It would be hard for you to do this because you would not know any of this information. The wait for a disability hearing can be lengthy and you will want to give your disability claim the best chance for an approval.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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