Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    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?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria