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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 Utah




Claimants with representation in Utah 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 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.

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

Residents of Utah who file for disability are less likely to win Social Security Disability benefits than applicants in other states. In Utah, only 30.2% of Social Security Disability (SSD) and social security income (SSI) applicants are awarded disability each year, and the number of appeals that succeed in this state is even further below the average national rate of approval. Less than one in 10 of those who appeal a decision made by a Utah state disability examiner succeed in winning benefits.

With statistics like that, it’s probably a good idea to get a disability lawyer involved in your case as soon as you receive word that your initial claim has been denied. For one thing, it is highly unlikely that a claim that was previously denied by the state disability determination services agency will be approved upon appeal without some new medical evidence to consider.

Let’s not forget that the agency reviewing the case is the same agency that denied it in the first place. An experienced disability lawyer will review your case, direct you to take any additional medical tests that may be needed to prove your disability, and request records from physicians as needed.

In Utah, a lawyer representing a disability applicant will automatically receive updates from social security in the case as well, and will make sure that all forms and additional information arrive at the social security administration office within the required deadlines. This is especially important when it comes to filing a reconsideration appeal—if you do not have your request for reconsideration in to the office within 60 days, your disability appeal is automatically denied and you must start all over again with a new claim.

Surprisingly, a large number of disability claimants miss this deadline, delaying a final decision in their case for several months, and so this is one very important way in which a disability lawyer can make sure your disability claim keeps moving through the system.

If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you will definitely need some kind of legal counsel to represent you at your second appeal, which will be decided, not by a state disability examiner, but by a federal administrative law judge. It is at this proceeding that you have the best chance of winning disability—40% of all disability applicants who appear before a judge are approved for benefits. However, the rate of approval jumps to 60% when the claimant is represented by a disability attorney—judges appear to be significantly more receptive to appeals arguments when they are presented by a legal professional rather than by a disability claimant.

It can be a long wait to be heard before a disability judge—up to a year, even two years depending upon current backlogs in the system. After such a long wait, and given the fact that having a disability attorney improves your odds of being approved for disability to such an extent, it only makes sense to present the federal judge with a well-prepared case. A lawyer who specializes in representing SSD/SSI applicants can help present a case that is persuasive enough to win disability payments.








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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New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

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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.