How an Attorney Improves Your Chances of Winning Your Social Security Disability Hearing
You do not need an attorney or representative to win your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits case, BUT having an attorney does increase your odds of being awarded benefits (per Social Security’s own statistics and a federal Government Accounting Office study, having representation increases your chances of being awarded benefits by more than 50%!) An experienced SSD / SSI attorney has the knowledge and expertise to assist you with your case. An attorney also has a vast number of resources to deal with the specific issues involved with your claim and the complex medical conditions that you are alleging in your case. An attorney focused on SSD / SSI benefits cases will have access to federal social security laws, prior social security rulings and medical research tools that will increase your odds of winning at a hearing.
An attorney can help you at any level of your case. This includes filing the initial application, filing the first appeal (known as a request for reconsideration), filing the second appeal (a request for a hearing with a Social Security administrative law judge) and, ultimately representing you at a hearing if necessary.
Attorney Help During the Social Security Disabilty Benefits Application Process
The Social Security Disability application process can be a complicated, time consuming and confusing process. An attorney experienced in SSD / SSI claims has the knowledge and expertise of knowing which official documents need to be filed with the Social Security office at each step of the process, what medical or other evidence is required and when deadlines need to be met. Missing a deadline in this process may cause you to lose your case and miss out on your benefits.
Attorney Help at Social Security Disability Hearings
It is important to know that a high number of cases around the country will more than likely require a hearing and will be heard in front of an administrative law judge. If this is the case, an attorney will assist you in gathering the medical documents from your providers, past and present, and make sure that they are properly input into the Social Security system so that the judge has all the evidence necessary to rule on your case.
How an Attorney May Help Your Case at the Hearing Level, Increasing the Chances You Will Be Awarded Benefits
While at a hearing, an attorney also has the experience of knowing what legal and medical research is needed to properly support your case, as well as which questions need to be to asked, what key documents or diagnostic tests need to be discussed, and what evidence certain judges look for during the proceeding. You likely will have a vocational expert, and you also may have a medical expert, hired by Social Security present at your hearing. These experts will discuss the facts of your case and give opinions on various aspects of your claim to the judge. An attorney will also cross-examine these experts and make sure that the hired experts properly consider the facts of your case and render relevant opinions.
Some individuals can handle all these aspects of a Social Security Disability claim on their own, but for most folks the assistance of an attorney will be helpful. Another factor to consider, if you act as your own representative the ALJ may consider such efforts to be work-like activity, leading the ALJ to wonder why you can handle a Social Security case but cannot work – be prepared with a clear and sufficient answer when the ALJ questions you on this point.
The attorneys of Cascadia Disability Law help people just like YOU! We fight to get you the benefits you deserve at the earliest stage possible in the claim process. Call or email us anytime – 503-891-8376 / 800-891-0867, Help@CascadiaDisabilityLaw.com
–> Contact us BEFORE you apply, and apply right the first time!