When should you get a disability lawyer in Ohio?

You can get a disability lawyer in Ohio to represent your claim and assist you at any time you choose. Representation can be obtained after you have submitted your initial claim, or after you have been denied on your claim. Many individuals wait until their claim has been turned down before seeking representation.

However, many individuals can and do benefit from obtaining representation at earlier points. In certain instances, competent and qualified representatives can look for flaws in the decision-making process utilized by the social security administration and, in doing so, win a claimant's case at the reconsideration appeal level (the first appeal step in the Social Security Disability and SSI system).

Proactive disability lawyers and non-attorney representatives can also be successful in winning claims at the application level and many would argue that early representation on a case helps to eliminate disadvantages that build up in the case as a result of the claimant's unfamiliarity with the nature of the Social Security system.

When a case is won at the disability application or reconsideration appeal in Ohio, the claimant avoids having to request a hearing before an administrative law judge...but, most importantly, they avoid having to wait for a hearing to be scheduled.

Hearing dates can often take more than two years to get due to backlogs in the system. During this lengthy waiting period, many claimants undergo extreme financial duress, with a percentage of them sliding into bankruptcy and home foreclosure.

Not all cases can be won at the reconsideration appeal level, however, even when the claimant's representative is making a concerted effort to do so. Statistically, an even greater number of cases in Ohio are denied at the reconsideration appeal level (89 percent) than at the intitial claim, or disability application, level (72 percent).

Are there other advantages to getting early representation on a disability claim? As a disability examiner working on cases, it was impossible not to notice that claimants with representation did not typically miss appeal deadlines, nor did they fail to comply with requests for information from the social security adminstration.

This was most likely due to the fact that disability lawyers receive copies of every piece of correspondence that their clients receive and, subsequently, then send reminder notices to their clients of A) questionaires that need to be completed and returned and B) appointments that need to be kept (such as for consultative medical examinations).

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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