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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 Oregon




Claimants who have disability representation in Oregon tend to be approved more often, with a need for fewer appeals and more favorable "onset dates" (when a person's disability is proven to have started). The earlier an onset date, of course, the higher a person's potential back pay benefits.

Social Security Representation may be provided by a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney representatives are former Social Security Administration personnel such as Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners.

A qualified representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law and procedures, especially with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent 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

It is not easy getting approved for Social Security (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability in Oregon. Less than 30 percent of all disability applicants are awarded disability benefits with their initial disability claim, i.e. disability application.

The high rate of denial at the application level necessitates the use of appeals in most cases. Unfortunately, disability claimants cannot expect more favorable results with their first appeal, the reconsideration appeal. The reconsideration appeal approval rate in Oregon is 10.6 percent which is less than the national approval rate of 10.9 percent.

For the majority of individuals, a second appeal, a request for hearing before an administrative law judge, or ALJ, will be required in order to ultimately win benefits.

This appeal allows an unrepresented claimant, or a represented claimant and their lawyer or non-attorney representative to appear in person before the decision-maker (in this case, a federal judge instead of a disability examiner) and present a rationale for approval that is based on 1) Social Security regulations and court rulings and B) objective medical and vocational evidence. Very often, this evidence will include a statement that has been obtained from one, or several, of the claimant's treating physicians.

At the hearing level in Oregon, a claimant may have approximately a 56 percent chance of being awarded benefits. This is in line with national statistics. However, claimants who appear at a hearing unrepresented will undoubtedly have lower odds of being approved.

Prior year federal statistics have indicated that unrepresented claimants may be awarded benefits by a judge approximately 40 percent of the time while represented claimants may be awarded up to 62 percent of the time. This signifies a nearly 50 percent increase in the win ratio when comparing unrepresented and represented claimants.

Typically, representation is considered when a claimant has received their denial (on the disability application), or when it becomes necessary to request a disability hearing. However, early representation in Oregon is often beneficial for several reasons.

First of all, each disability lawyer or non-attorney representative will receive copies of all correspondence sent to the claimant by the Social Security Administration. This effectively serves as a safeguard against the possibility of missing appeal deadlines, missing appointment dates for consultative medical examinations, and even missing requests from SSA to contact them (which can, itself, result, in a denial for failure to cooperate).

Secondly, however, a proactive disability representative or attorney may be able to obtain an approval on the case without the need for a hearing, the effect of which can be to eliminate months of processing time from a disability case (requesting a hearing alone can take up to a year).








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



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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.