Getting Social Security Disability Help for your Case
It goes without saying that some, if not many, people need help in applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI. People coping with chronic mental or painful physical symptoms are not always up to the often daunting task of filing and pursuing a disability claim to its conclusion, which may very well be years after the date of the initial filing.
Fortunately, help is available to those who need assistance in handling or filing disability claims. Some sources to consider are:
1. Social Workers. Hospitals, adult care facilities, and the local social services department and even the county and state health departments all employ social workers who may be able to help with the applications process and help direct or refer the claimant to others who may be of further assistance as the case progresses.
2. Independent Disability Advocates. Some independent living centers offer free assistance to those who wish to apply for SSD or SSI benefits. The services offered by independent advocates widely varies; some may offer assistance in getting disability applications started, while others may offer to advocate for claimants at their hearings.
However, given the fact that the Social Security Disability hearing is generally the 'last stand,' for a claimant, arrived at only after the initial application and request for reconsideration have been denied, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional disability lawyer at this point, rather than opting for free legal representation.
3. Disability Representatives. Many disability lawyers and representatives offer their services only after a claimant has filed and been denied. Some, however, will represent a claimant throughout their entire disability case beginning with the initial claim (i.e. the disability application). Some representatives will even assist a claimant with the actual initial filing of their claim.
Answers to questions about representation can be found here:
Social Security Disability Lawyers and Representatives
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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