Attorney for a Disability Claim in California

There are opposing theories as to how one should approach a disability claim when it comes to the subject of representation. One theory holds that a Social Security Disability or SSI claimant should locate representation at the earliest opportunity.


1. Using a Lawyer for an SSDI Disability Case
2. How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?
3. What does a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Representative do for your claim?
4. How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
5. Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
6. Disability lawyer win rate
7. Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?

A second theory holds that a disability claimant should not be overly concerned with finding a representative or lawyer until their claim has been denied at the application level (and a fair number of attorneys and non attorney representatives believe this as well). And yet a third theory holds that representation should not be necessary until a hearing has actually been requested.

When should you get an attorney (or qualified non attorney) for a disability claim? The best answer is probably this: it depends on the individual claimant and the claimant's needs. The vast majority of individuals who are connected to the disability system (reps, social security field office workers, and disability examiners) would certainly advise a claimant to get a lawyer for a disability hearing (going to a hearing without representation is not a good idea). And many would agree that finding an attorney after the first denial has been received is also practical as well, since in most such instances it will still be necessary to pursue a claim to the hearing level.

However, should a claimant who has only filed a disability application in California and has not yet been denied consider getting representation? Answer: it depends on the needs of the individual. Some claimants will, in fact, benefit from having representation from the very beginning, simply to avoid missed deadlines and to avoid the stress of "dealing with the system" (though in many cases this may be minimal). The following links may provide useful information regarding the subject of finding an attorney for a disability claim.

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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