Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Virginia

Claimants with representation in Virginia 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

Disability representation can be an essential asset to someone who is pursuing a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim in Virginia, chiefly because the odds of being denied on an initial application or a first appeal (for SSD or SSI benefits) are fairly high.

How many individuals filing for disability benefits get denied? Recent federal statistics show that more than 60 percent of applicants who file for disability in Virginia are not approved and close to 90% of those who appeal in Virginia are denied a second time.

Filing Social Security Disability or SSI can be an extraordinarily difficult process. And it can be a costly one, because the longer an individual's case is drawn out, the more likely it will be that the individual will suffer substantial financial damage.

For this reason, among others, claimants are advised to consult with social security attorneys. And if a disability claim in Virginia has been denied, an individual should seriously consider getting a lawyer to handle a claim. At the disability hearing level (the third step in the process and the second appeal available to applicants), the chances of winning benefits can be increased significantly by using the services of someone who is knowledgeable about the disability system in general and specifically about how to present a case before a disability judge.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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