While having a lawyer helping you file your social security disability claim can be helpful, it may not be absolutely necessary in the initial stage. Many first time applicants may not qualify, but many will after resubmitting with the correct information. Wrong or incomplete information is one reason for not getting through with the first filing for disabilities. Information on the social security website indicates that up to December 2013, over 830,000 beneficiaries had their benefits held for a variety of reasons. These reason ranges from:
- The payee not determined
- Determination of continuing disability pending
- Address unknown
- Imprisonment or otherwise confined
While a representative may help with getting correct information, due to the number of denials at this level, there are no guarantees of success even with professional help.
How a Lawyer can Help You File for Disability Successfully
If your claim is denied and you have to go before an administrative law judge, then you should get some form of social security disability representation. While no one, including even the best disability lawyer, can guarantee that you will be successful, a trained disability advocate can help put forward a valid claim on your behalf. This will increase your chances of success.
Having representation will benefit you and increase your chance of success in front of an administrative law judge in many ways, some of which are discussed below. An experienced advocate will be able to help put your full medical history together to support your claim for disability. A lawyer will know when medical records need to be updated, and in most cases, lawyers are able to get these records a lot quicker. This is where many individuals fail in submitting their claim; however, a lawyer will know what is needed and who to contact to help bolster your claim.
In addition to getting the medical records, your legal representative will know after examining them what should be submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Depending on the disability being claimed, some records can hinder rather than support your case. Only a lawyer with social security disability representation experience can know what to send and what to omit from your file.
Part of the hearing at the administrative law level will involve a vocational expert who will support or put forward arguments as to why your disability will or will not prevent you from working. The Social Security Administration normally hires this expert to act on their behalf. Many applicants will be too nervous to question this expert properly. A lawyer, on the other hand, will be better able to counter any arguments put forward by the vocational expert based on what your medical records state.
Another good reason to have social security disability representation is that these lawyers are only paid if you 'win'. It is therefore in their interest as well to put forward a good case.