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

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).

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

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria