Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do I need an attorney for disability ?

Most individuals will benefit from the involvement of a disability attorney on a social security disability or SSI claim at the disability hearing level. Statistically, the odds simply go up for a claimant who has representation. Why is this. Due to several reasons:

1. A disability representative (and this can be an attorney or a non-attorney) will generally do a better job of gathering medical evidence than an unrepresented claimant. This is especially true when it comes to obtaining residual functional capacity forms from treating physicians, which can be crucial to winning a claim at a hearing before an administrative law judge.

2. A disability attorney will know the definition and importance of concepts such as compliance, alleged onset, established onset, date last insured, and so forth.

3. A disability attorney will be familiar with both the impairment listing manual (the book that contains disability approval criteria for a number of different impairments) and with the disability criteria needed to achieve a medical vocational allowance (an approval for disability made on the basis of a claimant's inability to perform their past work or to do some type of other work).

When should you get an attorney for disability? If you get denied on a reconsideration, you will probably serve yourself well by looking for representation. However, some individuals will benefit from attorney involvement at the very start of a claim. And sometimes consulting with a rep prior to filing a claim can be helpful as well.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Disability in the Various States:

California Disability
Michigan Disability
New Jersey Disability
Virginia Disability