Find a lawyer who has experience with disability claims
The choice of a good Social Security representative is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will make during your disability claim. The choice you make can be the difference between being approved or denied for disability benefits.
Social Security representatives can be a lawyer (attorney) or a Social Security non-attorney representative. The Social Security Administration views the two equally with regard to their representing clients for disability. A lawyer may be worse for your disability claim than a non-attorney representative if they do not specialize in Social Security disability law. Non-attorney representatives can be as knowledgeable as an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability.
The fee for representation is the same for both because Social Security sets the representation fee.
It may be advisable for you to interview a few prospective representatives before choosing one. Once you find your representative, you will sign a fee agreement.
This fee agreement is legally binding. If you later find you do not wish to work with the person you chose, they may still be able to collect a fee from you if you win your case. So choose carefully.
If your obtain the services of an attorney or non-attorney representative, they will help you file your appeals timely, submit additional evidence, and they will go to your disability hearing with you. While you can do all of this yourself, you as an average person are not familiar with medical vocational rules or case law that could lead to your disability claim being approved rather than denied.
Your representative will present your disability claim a way that is most favorable to your disability case being approved. If represented, you are simply more likely to be approved at a disability hearing than those without representation.
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
1. Will Social Security send you to a psychologist?
2. Applying for disability on the basis of a physical impairment
3. Can I get disability if I have never worked?
4. What does it mean when I have to see another doctor for SSDI?
5. Can Social Security find all your medical records?
6. Does my retirement affect my SSD?
7. What do they ask in a SSDI interview?
8. Can I get SSI if my wife works?