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SSDRC Disability Blog

How does Social Security Disability Representation work?




 
You are allowed to have representation on a social security disability or SSI case at any point in the processing of your claim. Many claimants do not seek representation until their claim has been denied at the disability application level. Others wait until their claim has been denied at the first appeal level (which is the reconsideration appeal).

My own opinion, as a former disability examiner, and as someone who has been involved in claimant representation, is--

A) While representation is not necessary while a disability application is being processed, it can still be of benefit to some individuals, particularly those who have conditions, either mental or physical, which may make it difficult for them to keep up with paperwork and with responding to requests for information from the social security administration (when you have a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative, this individual will handle these tasks for you).

B) If you get denied on a disability application, you might as well seek representation. The reason for this is that the first appeal following an application for disability is a request for reconsideration. Reconsideration appeals generally have more than an eighty percent rate of denial. This being the case, most claimants who get denied at the first level will find themselves having to file a reconsideration appeal which will also get denied, which will then necessitate the filing of a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Therefore, if you get denied initially, you really might as well get a representative because it will be extremely likely that for you to win disability benefits you will need to be seen by a judge. And hearings before disability judges are helped enormously when claimants have representation.

Statistics, in fact, indicate that individuals who go to disability hearings without a disability attorney or a non-attorney representative (in the social security appeal system, your designated represenative does not have to be an attorney; in fact, many non-attorney representatives are former disability examiners and former employees of the social security administration) have, approximately, a forty percent chance of being approved for disability benefits. Those who go to hearings with a representative have a better than sixty percent chance of being approved for disability benefits.

Related:

Social Security Attorneys and Disability Representatives - what you should know








Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions








Related pages:

Social Security Disability Lawyers - Fees and Representation Information
Social Security Disability Representation - Disability Lawyers and Representatives
Why does Representation increase the win ratio at a Social Security Disability or SSI Hearing?
Social Security Disability Issues and Representation
How does Social Security Disability Representation work?
Does Being Represented On A Disability Claim Win The Case Faster?
Who can provide disability representation in North Carolina?
Should you hire a Non-Attorney Disability Representative instead of a Lawyer? The Rationale for getting Disability Representation
When does Social Security pay the first disability benefit check?
Social Security Disability decisions by judges and examiners



Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


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