Do social security disability applicants need an attorney when filing a claim? If you’re just completing your initial application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, then you probably don’t need one. However, if your disability application has been denied or if you are to stand before a hearing, having a legal representative by your side offers you several advantages.
The disability claim process is straightforward. You can apply for SSD or SSI benefits or SSI by visiting the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) website or calling the agency. You will need to provide certain information about your long-term disability or medical condition to help verify your claim. Once you complete the application process, you just need to wait for the decision which will be mailed to you.
Differentiating SSDI and SSI Claims
The SSA manages the SSDI and SSI insurance programs that were created to provide financial help to individuals who have been unable to work for some time or suffered a short-term disability and cannot support themselves. Qualified individuals filing for disability go through the same process for compensation claims and appeals.
However, there are major differences between these programs. For instance, having enough work credits is a major requirement to be eligible for an SSDI claim while the SSI is for low-income groups with little work history.
Under SSDI, your social security claim amount will depend on how long you have worked, the onset of your disability, your FICA taxes, how long your unemployment and disability lasted, and your capacity for gainful employment. Since SSI is needs-based, the only requirements are proof that your declared assets do not go over certain limits and that you have a disability or impairment.
If you’re unsure whether to apply for social security or supplemental income, you can consult with disability lawyers who can evaluate your case.
Not all types of disabilities are covered by social security disability benefits. If you wish to get the complete list of qualifying conditions, you can visit the Social Security Office’s site or request a resource from a nearby social security disability lawyer.
The following are some of the most common conditions filed: ADHD or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, arthritis, asthma, autism, and Asperger’s syndrome, cancer, clinical depression, chronic pain syndrome, diabetes, emphysema, epilepsy, heart conditions, mental disorders, lower back injuries, obesity, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.
Some disabling conditions that are not covered in the full list can get disability coverage if you can present proper documentation that satisfies the criteria set by the social security agency. A social security attorney at Farmer & Wright can help you navigate through the system and qualify for disability benefits.
Advantages of Working with Disability Attorneys
A thorough review of the application. Although disability claims can be filed without an attorney, the majority of initial applications get an unfavorable decision for various reasons as simple as an application lacking supporting documentation. To prevent this from happening, our social security disability attorney from Farmer & Wright will review your medical evidence and supporting documentation, sort through your filled-out forms, and answer any component which may concern you.
Higher chance of getting approved. If your first attempt of securing a benefit fails, the next step is to submit a disability appeal. If you want to ensure that your claim is approved, let a disability lawyer fight for you. Aside from assessing your circumstances, social security lawyers can also request the help of a third party such as a medical expert or rehabilitation expert to support your case before the Appeals council.
No high service fees. A social security lawyer or non-attorney disability representative cannot ask for upfront services fees. Instead, they are given a certain percentage of the claimant’s backpay, which means they only get paid when their claimants win the case. Representatives may, however, charge fees for things like copying medical records.
Ability to meet the SSA’s deadlines. When you receive your social security application decision letter, you will be notified of the period for filing an appeal. If you miss this window, it will be almost impossible to pursue your claim. With a disability lawyer, your paperwork will be cross-checked for completion and you have someone to help you draft your reconsideration appeal within 60 days.
Representation in a hearing. If your second appeal is again turned down, the next step is to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. You will want to have legal representation to plead your case. In some cases, a doctor or an expert is at the court hearing. When this happens, a disability attorney will help cross-examine the witness or have another physician ready to testify during hearings.
File For Disability Claim
Have any questions about applying for SSDI benefits, insurance benefits, or disability payments? Facing application denial and want to file an appeal? About to stand before an administrative law judge? You don’t have to face these alone.
At Farmer & Wright, we help people with disabilities file their claims, go through the appeals process, or have their application expedited so that they can live free from worries and concerns. Call our office for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits with one of our Paducah social security attorneys.