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 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?"

Additional information

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.

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?

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

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.