How Can A Disability Lawyer Help Me?
If you are considering applying for Social Security Benefits, questions like this may arise: “Do I really need a disability lawyer to apply?” “What happens if I don’t have a lawyer representing me?” “Is there anything wrong with representing myself?”
There’s no “right way” to apply for Social Security Benefits. Some people can get by without hiring a lawyer. If they are denied benefits, however, it does leave a lingering question: “Did I miss something?” If you do not want to leave anything to chance, getting professional help from an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer and staff can take the unknowns out of the process. It can give you confidence that you are doing the best you can to get approved for benefits. Before deciding whether you should hire a Social Security Disability lawyer, you may want to consider what you don’t know. “Is my claim obvious?” “Am I getting the right medical treatment to prove my case?” And “Is there something I should mention to the judge at my hearing?”
The biggest advantage of hiring a Social Security lawyer is that more people are approved for Social Security benefits who hire one. Another advantage, though, is that a Social Security Disability lawyer and his or her staff can answer your questions and concerns throughout the process. They can guide you in the right direction. They can offer you knowledge about your case that you won’t find on the internet. When you don’t feel well and cannot work, this piece of mind can be worth its weight in gold.
How Early Should I Get a Social Security Lawyer?
Finding the right representation for your Social Security claim is imperative because not all cases are created equal. You may choose to file an application for benefits on your own. You may get approved on your own. But two-thirds of those applying for Social Security benefits are denied at the application. It is virtually impossible to know if you will be one of the lucky ones. Applying on your own may leave your financial future up to chance. Is this a risk you can afford to take?
Some people will search for representation after they have applied for benefits. Some will even wait until a hearing is scheduled. You can choose to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer at any time, but the longer you wait, the less your lawyer can help you develop strong evidence for your claim. Social Security follows certain laws to evaluate the medical problems you have. For example, it would very helpful to know as soon as possible that if you have low back problems, Social Security will virtually ignore all chiropractic care. MRI’s are the gold standard to establish proof of back problems such as herniated disks.
Another advantage of hiring a Social Security lawyer sooner in your claim is that some people get overwhelmed with the process and give up. Sorting through forms and appeals can be just too much—especially if you already don’t feel well. Starting a claim over, if you can, starts the clock over. You must complete a new application, fill out the same forms, and wait all over again for decisions. Worse yet, refiling a new Social Security claim can cause you to lose possible backpay.
Your attorney will know what chances are of being approved. Your attorney will explain what medical treatment Social Security expects you to have. Your attorney will explain what happens to your claim if you return to part-time work. Having a professional guide show you through the Social Security benefits system may be the best investment you can make in your family’s financial future.
How Can I Find the Right Social Security Lawyer for My Social Security Claim?
Experienced Social Security lawyers typically argue over 100 Social Security hearings per year. Since every claim for benefits is different, the more experience your lawyer has the better. Luckily, many law firms have free initial case evaluations. You can ask a friend or family member if they know a good Social Security Law Firm. You can also go on the Internet in your area. Call the firm and ask questions. “Does your law firm have lawyers who frequently do hearings where your hearing will be? How long have you been in business? Do you outsource your legal work at hearings to other lawyers, or do you have your own lawyers do your own hearings (this is preferred)? Will your law firm initially review my claim for free? Do you charge for medical records?
If a Social Security law firm cannot represent you, they will say so. It is helpful to ask why they cannot help you, and then ask if they know of another law firm in your area that may be able to help you.
Finding the right Social Security lawyer for you is about trust. Trust is a two-way street. Answer their questions, be available for follow-up on your forms and appeals, and ask how you can help them. The more you work as a team, the better your chances are of getting approved for Social Security benefits.