Representation on a Social Security Disability Claim in Florida
Do you require representation on a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim and, if so, when should you get it?
Answer: No. No one in Florida actually requires disability representation when they apply for disability benefits or file an appeal. The system is set up so that you can "go it alone" if you decide to do so.
So, let's rephrase the question. Should you get disability representation and, if so, when should you get it?
Answer: If you've been denied on your Social Security Disability claim, you would probably be well-advised to find someone to handle your case. If your denial occurred at the first appeal level (the appeal is called reconsideration), you should get a representative (a lawyer or non attorney, either will do) because the next appeal will involve appearing at a hearing to be held by a federal administrative law judge.
And if your denial occurred at the application level, you may wish to look into representation simply because most first appeals are denied (about eighty-five percent of them get turned down).
Should you get "early Social Security Disability representation"? That is, should you try to find someone to help you before you even get denied? It depends on the individual claimant. Some claimants will benefit from receiving assistance on their claim from the very start, though others may choose to wait until later in the process.
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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