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

Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in New Mexico

Claimants who are represented on disability claims in New Mexico tend to have a higher rate of approval, a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) that lead to higher back pay benefits.

Representation may be through a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney reps are former Social Security Administration Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners with an extended history of working from within the federal system.

A qualified disability representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law, particularly with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent disability representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.

To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"

Additional information

If you are filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) or filing for SSI benefits in New Mexico, you may be wondering if you should hire a lawyer to represent you. The truth is, only you can make that decision, and the answer will vary, depending on your individual needs and, of course, the nature of your medical disability (some conditions, such as blindness or paralysis, impose obvious physical limitations that are likely to result in approval of benefits without legal representation of any kind).

In fact, 40.4% of residents of New Mexico are approved for SSD/SSI the first time they file for disability, and another 17.8% of disability applicants who were initially denied benefits by the New Mexico disability determination services (DDS) win benefits upon their first appeal (known as a request for a Social Security Disability review or reconsideration).

These approval rates are actually significantly higher the national average, so do applicants in New Mexico really need legal representation, and if so, when? As previously stated, it depends upon the circumstances surrounding each claim, as well as the individual involved.

The vast majority of medical conditions for which claimants seek disability benefits are not listed in the social security administration impairment manual, commonly referred to as the “blue book.”

While not having a condition listed in the blue book in no way prevents you from collecting disability benefits, it does make it a bit more complicated to demonstrate the nature of your medical condition, its symptoms, and how those symptoms prevent you from earning a living wage. Some people find that they are not up to the task of gathering all their medical records, meeting deadlines, compiling a detailed work history, etc., particularly if their physical or mental condition is debilitating.

A lawyer representing a disability claimant is regularly notified of all developments in the case, and will make sure that all medical and work history records are where they need to be, when they need to be there (in other words, no missed deadlines). This can be very helpful to disability claimants who, for whatever reason, are unable to advocate for themselves.

Of course, many if not most disability claimants in New Mexico find that they are able to provide all the necessary medical and work history information to disability determination services with little difficulty, and do not need a lawyer to help them stay on task.

However, even these individuals are strongly advised to seek legal counsel when both their initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal have been denied by a New Mexico disability examiner, because the next step in the process involves a hearing before an administrative law judge. In New Mexico and across the nation studies have shown that having a disability lawyer present your case to an administrative law judge significantly increases your chances of winning.

In fact, an experienced disability lawyer or non-attorney claimant's representative (non-attorney reps are often former SSA representatives of state disability examiners) can mean the difference between approval and disapproval of your claim.

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?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

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.