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 Washington

Claimants with representation in Washington 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

If you live in the state of Washington and are thinking of applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits, chances are you have never stopped to think of the fact that you are likely to have to appear before a federally appointed administrative judge. And yet, statistics from the Office of Disability Programs indicate that nearly 60 percent of all SSD and SSI disability claims filed in Washington state are denied.

Nor are applicants who appeal the state disability examiner’s decision likely to see any financial relief; a staggering 84.9 percent of all request for reconsideration appeals or reviews are denied by the Washington state disability determination services as well.

If, like most disability claimants, you are turned down for benefits upon reconsideration, your best option is to file a second appeal, which will be heard, not by disability determination services, by a disability judge. You are strongly advised to seek legal counsel at this point—this is your best chance of winning benefits.

Nationwide, about 40 percent of disability applicants who were denied benefits by a state disability examiner are awarded benefits when their case is heard before an administrative judge, but this number rises to over 60 percent when the claimants are represented by a disability attorney.

An experienced disability lawyer will craft a strong case by examining your past claims and determining any weaknesses in the medical information provided that may have been used as a basis of your past denials. Your attorney may also be able to spot inconsistencies in the disability examiner’s decision and present those to the judge as well, all in a manner that meets the social security administration (SSA) criteria for disability. Your attorney may also be able to suggest additional medical tests or evaluations that may be needed to bolster your claim, submit any new medical evidence to the judge as well.

The one thing you do not want to do if your claim has been denied by disability determination services is to give up. The disability determination process is both long and frustrating for most, but if you reach the third level of consideration and have the chance to have your case heard before an administrative judge, your chances of winning are great, particularly if you retain a Washington disability lawyer to represent you in this proceeding.

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?

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.