Do I Need A Social Security Disability Attorney?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the Social Security Disability application process, considering how frustrating it can be. You’ve probably already come across a few stories about people having their legitimate claims denied, unfair treatment during the process, having to wait years for approval, and other Social Security Disability nightmares.
Such sentiments might leave you wondering whether it’s worth it to hire an attorney to help with the application process. To help you decide, here are a few things you should know about applying for Social Security Disability.
The Initial Application
Unfortunately, most of the social security disability claims are denied in the initial application. But this shouldnât discourage you, since over 70% of the disability claims are denied the first time, and usually have to be repealed. As such, it only means that you’ll probably have to go through extra steps before your claim is approved. In case your disability claim was denied, you have to appeal the decision. The appeal can take quite some time and has a number of different levels.
When You Should Hire an Attorney
In general, it is advisable to hire a Social Security Disability attorney to take you through the appeal process, so that youâll have better chances of being approved for benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer will ideally represent your interests, guide you through the process, and make sure that you have a fair hearing. However, it’s imperative to work with an attorney who specializes in disability law. Click here for more helpful tips to hiring an attorney.
Collecting and Evaluating your Medical Records
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will require you to avail details about your condition in order to make an informed decision. If for example some of your medical records are missing, there are gaps in your treatment history, or inconsistent records, the administrative law judge (ALJ) might have grounds to deny your claim.
One of the most important services the disability lawyer will perform is collecting all the relevant medical records and submitting them to the court. It is still possible to request the documents by yourself, but the attorney will be aware of what to look for, which records need updating, and will generally get them more quickly.
Legal Research for Your Case
The attorney will also assess the records to determine if you need more evidence for your case, whether vital tests or documentation is missing, and he or she will then predict any issues that might arise. This assessment will help the attorney know what they can do to improve your chances on your appeal.
Once your attorney has studied your file, they can effectively do legal research for your case in order to present it to the ALJ. They can then use that information to develop compelling arguments for why you deserve disability benefits.
Preparing for the Hearing
Before the official hearing, your attorney will prepare you for the questions that the judge is likely to ask. This way, you will know about the best ways to make the judge understand your current abilities and limitation. The attorney will also question any of the experts that may testify at your hearing to present an accurate picture of your situation.
Whether or not you hire a Social Security Disability attorney to handle your disability claim is a decision you have to make yourself. Nonetheless, understand that when your initial claim is denied, which is almost guaranteed, the appeal process will be much smoother if you have an experienced social security disability attorney by your side.