Theoretically, people don’t need a lawyer in order to submit an application for Social Security Disability Benefits. However, without a lawyer assisting in the process, it is highly likely that your claim will be denied, as 70% of all applicants are denied on their first application. When you are dealing with a disability and are unable to work, you probably cannot afford to be denied benefits. The main reasons to hire an attorney are to greatly increase the chances of your application being accepted and/or to help you win an appeal if you were denied.
Submitting a thorough application
Social Security lawyers understand the SSDI system and can create an application tailored to what evaluators are looking for. Not only can they gather medical records and relevant info about your condition, but they can also use clinical language in the application that is more likely to qualify you for SSDI.
They can also directly address anything that could result in denial. They understand the reasons claims are denied and can help you avoid those pitfalls. Because of the enormous backlog of denial cases, you may have to wait two or more years to have your appeal heard if you are denied at first. This is why it is so crucial to have an attorney during the application process. You can hopefully avoid ever going through the denial process, especially when you are in financial trouble and need benefits as soon as possible.
Appealing a denial
If you have already been denied, an attorney can help you win an appeal so that you earn benefits without the stress of re-submitting an application and waiting to hear back about it yet again. An attorney can thoroughly examine why you were denied and what needs to be done to win your appeal case.
They could do any number of the following to improve your case:
- Gather any important information that may have been missing from your application
- Check the accuracy of previously-submitted info
- Improve the medical evidence presented
- Get physician’s opinions and reports as evidence
- Address any questions about your income or work history
- Present all facts and info in a very clear and formal manner
- Advocate for you before the judge
- Generally show and advocate for your need for benefits