Who knows more about Social Security Disability
I recently had a conversation with another individual who was once affiliated with the social security disability system and the question came up -- Who knows more about social security disability? Lawyers? Disability examiners? Social Security field office claims reps? In actuality, there's no easy answer to such a question.
Disability Lawyers, as opposed to disability examiners and claims reps, typically know much more about the hearing process, particularly when it comes to the nuts and bolts operation of the disability hearing offices with which they must deal on a routine basis. And when it comes to filing a disability appeal beyond the ALJ (administrative law judge) level, lawyers have substantially more knowledge, simply because CRs (claims reps) have little to do with these appeal steps and examiners have nothing to do with these appeal steps.
When it comes to the medical processing end of an application for social security disability or SSI, of course, a disability lawyer or a social security claims rep will have scant knowledge of the way things work. But this is what most disability examiners do on a daily basis (order medical records, review them, consult with unit psychologists and medical doctors, make functional capacity assessments, and make decisions on cases). And without ever having done the job, neither a lawyer nor a claims rep would ever have the ability to understand how cases are really developed at a DDS (disability determination services).
By and large, disability examiners probably know the most about disability case development at the initial claim and reconsideration levels. At the hearing level, lawyers and non attorney claimant's representatives have the advantage.
However, when it comes to the area of how a social security disability or SSI claim gets started in the first place, no one knows as much as a claims rep. After all, these individuals are the ones who take applications, interview disability claimants for the first time, and, in the case of SSI, have to research issues regarding income and resources.
How to apply for SSI benefits