Does Being Represented On A Disability Claim Win The Case Faster?

Being represented does not necessarily win the case faster at any level of the Social Security Disability process. However, representation may win an applicant disability benefits sooner by virtue of the following:

1. Eliminating the need to go through an additional appeal step.

2. Removing the possibility of repeating the process by ensuring that SSA deadlines are met.

3. Ensuring that the claimant engages in full compliance with the needs of the adjudicator (an examiner at the first two levels of the claim system and an administrative law judge at the hearing level).

Though representation at the initial Social Security Disability claim level sometimes does not affect the outcome of your disability determination, there are disability representatives who make a strong, expert, and determined attempt to win disability cases at the earliest level possible. Those that do have a high success rate and these representatives are worth the fee that they are paid.

At the disability application level, representation is especially helpful to those who do not have the ability to do things such as provide needed information, complete forms, or remember consultative examination appointments, etc.

If a disability applicant has severe mental disorders, memory problems, physical conditions that severely restrict their ability to keep up with their disability claim, or even severe anxiety and depression issues, they may be advised to consider representation.

At the reconsideration appeal level, the approval rate is only about ten to fifteen percent and a claimant is not likely to be approved for disability unless there was clear error in the decision made on their disability application, or unless they have a very organized and determined disability attorney or disability representative.

Representation on a disability claim at the administrative law judge hearing is more likely to win you disability benefits. In fact, the ALJ disability hearing is the most wins versus any other level of the Social Security Disability process. National statistics indicate disability applicants who have representation at their ALJ disability hearing are about twenty to twenty five percent more likely to win their disability case.

Attorneys and non-attorney representatives win more disability cases because they know Social Security Disability regulations, guidelines, and vocational rules. Generally, they are able to portray your disability case in a light that is most favorable to you. Considering the wait times for administrative law judge hearings, it would seem advisable to consider disability representation at some point. However, if a case has gotten to the point where a hearing has either been requested, or will be requested, it would be, in most cases, be unwise to proeceed unrepresented.

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.

Questions and Answers

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5. Does social security care if you are working when you are applying for disability?

6. Is there an income limit to be under when you apply for disability?

7. Does social security contact your former work employers when you file for disability?

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10. How far back are Social Security Disability benefits awarded on an appeal?

11. What is the maximum fee a Social Security Disability attorney can charge?

12. What are the questions that get asked at a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing?

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15. How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Disability?

16. Are There Social Security Disability, SSI Requirements For How Disabled You Have to Be?

17. What does SSA consider a severe impairment for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability Benefits?

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20. How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?

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23. What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

24. What if you get denied for disability multiple times?

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