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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

Do I need a lawyer to get disability benefits in Missouri?



 
This question was recently asked on a public information site, and the answer is in two parts:

A. Not always.

and

B. It depends.

Many disabled filing for disability in Missouri will do just fine by foregoing getting a disability lawyer until a Social Security Disability hearing has been requested or until a case has been denied.

Just the same, though, many individuals, will benefit from getting representation earlier on in the process and here's why: An astounding number of disability claimants fail to realize that the disability appeal process is usually their best chance of getting approved for benefits and instead file new disability applications instead. Claimants who give up the opportunity to appeal and file new claims usually just get denied again.

Additionally, many claimants who actually intend to appeal somehow end up missing their appeal deadlines. It's sometimes difficult to imagine why this happens when the social security administration actually gives claimants a total of 65 days (60 days plus five more for mailing) in which to submit an appeal, but the answer in many cases probably has to do with the stress of being denied in the first place, and the effect of dealing with certain impairments on a day-to-day basis.

Claimants who miss disability appeal deadlines as well as claimants who fail to make use of the Social Security Disability appeal process, would probably have been better off if they had had representation from the start.

Do you need a lawyer to get disability benefits? No. And, in fact, about three out of ten claimants who file for Social Security Disability or SSI get approved for benefits and it's most likely that nearly all of these claimants are unrepresented.

Will some claimants benefit from early representation? Without a doubt, many will.

Do you need a lawyer to get disability if you have requested a disability hearing? Statistically, it is more than evident that claimants who go to hearings that are held by administrative law judges have a more favorable chance of winning when they are represented. In fact, statistics indicate than unrepresented claimants tend to win about 40 percent of the time while represented claimants tend to win about 60 percent of the time.

So, the answer to the question we started with (Do I need a lawyer to get disability benefits from Social Security?) is quite suitably "not always" and "it depends". However, for claimants who have a disability hearing in the near future, the answer to the question is "you really need to consider finding representation".

Resources:

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?









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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.