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Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in South Carolina
Claimants with representation in South Carolina tend to be approved in higher percentages, have a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) which can result in a higher payment Social Security Disability and/or SSI disability 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.
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?"
At what point, if any, should those filing for social security disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits in South Carolina consult with a disability lawyer? The answer to this question varies according to the individual, but in general there are three sets of circumstances in which you should consider getting a lawyer in South Carolina if you wish to claim disability:
1. Is your disability claim fairly straightforward, or is your condition one that is less clearly defined, or one that you think may be denied disability? If your medical condition is one that is not overtly apparent, or one that is listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) book of impairments (commonly referred to as the “blue book), then you will most likely be relying on medical records to help define both your condition and its symptoms, as well as to prove how this inhibits you from earning a living wage.
Examples of such cases include chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, etc. In these types of cases there can be a lot of paperwork and going back and forth between the disability examiner and the applicant.
2. If you think you could benefit from having a lawyer handle your case, or if your condition inhibits your ability to gather the necessary information, then by all means consult an experienced disability attorney sooner rather than later.
From the moment it is notified that you have legal representation, the social security administration is obligated to keep your lawyer informed as to the status of your case. A good lawyer will make sure that all of your paperwork is filed on time, that the disability examiner gets the medical records needed to render a decision, and that any disability appeals are automatically submitted within the designated timeframe.
Retaining a lawyer early in the disability process will also allow him or her to begin formulating a strong case and convincing argument for approval at from the outset should your case (like most in South Carolina) be turned down by the state disability examiner, and subsequently be scheduled for an administrative hearing.
3. If you have already applied for SSD or SSI benefits in South Carolina, has your initial claim been denied? If so, you may want to think about getting a disability lawyer to handle your request for reconsideration appeal. Almost 80 percent of all reconsideration appeals are denied—an experienced disability attorney may be able to spot weaknesses in your initial claim, or may be able to suggest other medical exams or evaluations that could be performed to strengthen your case.
4. Have both your initial claim and your first appeal, review or reconsideration, been denied by the state disability determination services agency? If so, it is definitely advisable to retain legal counsel. This is because the next appeal will be considered by a federal administrative law judge at hearing, and statistics have shown that disability judges are significantly more likely to grant disability benefits to claimants when their case is presented by an attorney.
Individuals who are represented by an attorney at their disability hearing win benefits 60 percent of the time—only four out of 10 applicants that choose to represent themselves before the judge are successful. At any rate, due to backlogs in the disability system in South Carolina and across the nation, it could take up to a year to have your case before a judge—after that long wait, it’s smart not to take any chances with the outcome.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability and SSI Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
How long does it take for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Tips, Mistakes, How to Qualify, and How to Win Disability
Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI, How to Win
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeal Process - How to file appeals
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
SSI Disability Benefits, Questions and Answers
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Information to start with regarding Disability Claims
An Overview of Social Security Disability and SSI
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
The Disability Requirements to be eligible for SSD and SSI Benefits
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions and Impairments
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
The SSDRC Disability Blog
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Getting disability in North Carolina
Filing for disability in South Carolina
If you File or apply for Disability in South Carolina
How long does it take to get a disability decision in South Carolina?
Where do you begin when applying for disability benefits in South Carolina?
What to bring when applying for disability in South Carolina
Applying for SSI Disability Benefits in South Carolina
What happens after you apply for disability in South Carolina?
If you file for disability in South Carolina and get denied
South Carolina disability back pay benefits
Social Security Disability Retroactive Benefits in South Carolina
Getting Social Security Disability back pay in South Carolina
South Carolina disability tips
South Carolina Social Security Disability appeal tips
How to apply for disability in South Carolina and get approved?
How to get awarded disability in South Carolina
How to qualify for disability in South Carolina
South Carolina Disability Doctors
Help Your Doctor Help You to Win disability in South Carolina
A Disability Exam in South Carolina
Social Security Disability DDS doctors in South Carolina
Medical Conditions and SSD SSI in South Carolina
You Must be Disabled for a Year to get disability in South Carolina
Social Security Disability for Mental and Physical Problems in South Carolina
List Mental Conditions on a Disability Application in South Carolina
South Carolina disability applications and your condition
Disability hearings in South Carolina
Social Security Disability Hearing Decisions in South Carolina
Disability Hearing in South Carolina offers a chance for winning benefits
Disability hearing in South Carolina, what happens?
Disability denials in South Carolina
If you lose your disability case in South Carolina
Social Security Disability appeals in South Carolina
Disability appeals in South Carolina
When a social security disability claim gets denied in South Carolina
Should You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial in South Carolina?
Appealing a denial of Social Security Disability in South Carolina
Qualifying for disability in South Carolina
Qualifying for Disability in South Carolina
Who qualifies for disability in South Carolina?
Will you get Approved for Disability in South Carolina?
Disability cases to win in South Carolina
Disability lawyers in South Carolina
South Carolina Disability lawyer, hiring
Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in South Carolina
How to pick a disability lawyer in South Carolina
Get a Good Disability Attorney or Disability Representative in South Carolina