How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Should I Appeal my Social Security Disability Denial in Illinois, or get a Lawyer First?
Opinions vary widely on these issues. I've heard, and read, plenty of people make the argument that representation is unnecessary. However, if I had to file for disability, knowing what I know about the disability system, as a former disability examiner and having worked in representation, I would not represent myself on a claim.
And, if I had a friend or relative who was filing for disability in Illinois, I would advise them to get representation immediately after being denied on a claim, and certainly if the denial occurred at the reconsideration appeal level (because the next step is to request a disability hearing and at a hearing you absolutely want representation).
Further, and this is just my own preference, I would advise anyone who was denied on a reconsideration to get representation. Why? Because the odds of winning at recon are fairly limited.
Here's one mistake that I've seen time and time again. A claimant who files for disability benefits with the social security administration gets denied and decides to find a disability representative (either a lawyer or a non-attorney claimant's representative). Weeks later, right as the deadline to appeal very closely approaches, they finally sign on with a representative (literally, by signing a fee agreement and a 1696--SSA form 1696--to designate a representative), fully expecting that the representative should handle everything without exception.
Where's the mistake in this scenario? Actually, there's several. First of all, if you need to appeal, you should always do so immediately to avoid adding more total processing time to your case. In other words, just because SSA gives you two months to appeal, that doesn't mean you should actually consume that length of time as doing so serves no purpose and is probably financially damaging to you.
Secondly, if you plan to get representation following a disability denial, you should do so immediately. Why? Because your prospective representative, whoever that may be, will not be able to submit an appeal on your behalf without having signed paperwork from you. And by that, I mean the aforementioned appointment of representative form, a signed fee agreement, as well as signed medical releases (typically SSA-827 releases that will be used by social security and the representative's own in-house release forms).
If you contact your prospective rep too late, it may be the case that the representative may be forced to advise you to file your appeal on your own...simply because they don't have a signed 1696 and fee agreement from you and the deadline to appeal is dangerously close.
So, should you get you appeal your SSD denial, or get a lawyer first? Well, if you plan to get a representative, do this first and do it immediately following a denial so the representative can file the appeal for you. However, if for some reason you are having trouble either getting a representative, or deciding on which one to use, file your appeal yourself to avoid wasting valuable time, and then get representation.
1. How long does it take to get a disability hearing scheduled?
2. How long does it take to get a disability hearing?
3. How long does it take to get a decision after a disability hearing?
4. How to get a disability hearing scheduled faster?
5. Getting a faster disability hearing scheduled
6. Can an attorney get you a faster disability hearing?
7. Disability hearing decision timeframe
8. ALJ disability hearing decisions
9. What to expect at a disability hearing
10. What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
11. After a disability hearing, what happens?
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
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Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
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Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
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Filing for disability in Illinois
Applying for disability in Illinois
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file
After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?
Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?
Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois
Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?
Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois
Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois
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Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?
Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois
Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois
Illinois disability appeals
Filing a disability appeal in Illinois
Which disability appeal to file in Illinois
How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?
Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois
Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?
Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois
Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?
Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois
Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?
How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?
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Illinois disability hearings
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Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration
Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied
Illinois mental disability
Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition
Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois
Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois
Illinois disability decisions
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What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?
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Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security Disability
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If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?
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Illinois disability denials
Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?
Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois
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Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.