Social Security Disability Attorney
Do I Need An Attorney?
Most individuals have the common misconception that applying for Social Security Disability benefits is easy and headache-free. Many believe that by filling out some online forms, their checks will start arriving a couple months after. Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth as the process is extremely complicated and may take years. Statistically, approximately 70% of individuals who apply for disability benefits will be denied within a few months and a majority of those denied are not represented by an attorney.
Further, a 2010 report from the Social Security Inspector General found that almost 80% of applicants have a hard time reading, understanding, or properly completing the required forms. Moreover, once you have been denied in the initial phases, you are required to appear before administrative Law Judge to argue your case. This means the judge will be utilizing complex rules and regulations to adjudicate your claim.
To increase their chances of winning, whether in filing a new claim or appealing a denied one, more and more individuals choose to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer, who knows the rules and regulations, instead of going at it on their own.
Can I Just Hire Any Lawyer?
Would you ever consider, without an attorney, going up against an insurance company and their lawyers if you were suing for personal injuries? How about trying to prove your innocence, without an attorney, when you have been charged with a crime? Your answer to both of these questions is likely no. So why would you want to take on the Social Security Administration (SSA), a Federal Agency, on your own when your livelihood is at stake? Furthermore, you would not hire a tax attorney to represent you in your accident case. The same applies here, not all attorneys have the skill and knowledge to represent a Social Security Disability claim. Hence, those who specialize in this field, have gone through additional training beyond what is taught in law school.
Moreover, many applicants are also under the false impression that since they have worked and paid taxes, SSA employees will help them win their claim. This is completely false since SSA does not owe you a duty to advocate your claim, thus it is your obligation to prove that you are no longer able to work. This means that you have the burden of proving that you are disabled.
Lastly, stats have shown that the odds of winning a disability claim before the Social Security Administration are substantially increased when the individual retains a Social Security Disability Attorney, instead of going at it alone.
The Benefits of Being Represented:
Firms that specialize in Social Security Disability, such as ours, generally have a high level of familiarity and expertise with the Social Security rules and regulations. In many instances, they will have invaluable SSDI and SSI claim experience including knowing what Social Security will be looking for, which questions to ask, and how to strategically argue your case. Another words, the level of skill needed to win is far more than the Social Security Disability basics often found on the Social Security Administration’s website.
Because such firms get paid on contingency (only if you win), they spend a lot of time and resources to ensure that a client’s case will have the best chance of succeeding. This includes tracking down important medical records and test results, obtaining detailed statements from a claimant’s treating physicians, applying a thorough understanding of SSA rules and regulations as well as considering prior cases which may apply to the client’s matter.
So, can a claimant who is not represented still win his or her claim? Yes, and, in fact, this does occasionally happen. However, the odds of winning a disability claim are substantially decreased when a claimant does not hire an experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer.
Choosing the Right Firm:
Should you decide to hire an attorney, please take into consider the following:
First, as the famous saying goes “Jack of all trades, master of none”, be cautious of local law firms who handle all types of cases, including Social Security Disability. This is usually a red flag that the firm is not really specialized in your type of claim as opposed to a firm, such as ours, who only handles Social Security disability cases.
Secondly, beware of “national law firms” who advertise heavily on your local television, radio, or the internet. With these firms, also known as mills, you are nothing but a number as you may find your case being handed from person to person and getting someone to call you near impossible. These firms are notorious for the high turnover of employees, thus don’t be surprised if at the day of your hearing, your attorney is not familiar with your case.
We hope that this page has clarified some of your concerns regarding hiring professional representation.
If you are thinking about filing a Social Security Disability, wish to appeal a denied claim, or have more questions, feel free to consult with one of our experienced attorneys and we will be more than happy to answer your common disability questions. Our firm has decades of combined experience and represented thousands of clients before the SSA. Representing countless number of cases has allowed our firm to understand what is required to ultimately win. Remember, disability cases are all that we do and we don’t get paid until you win. Go ahead, give us a call or fill out the Free Case Evaluation form below and let us help you get the benefits you deserve.