Filing a Request for a Disability Hearing - do you need a lawyer ?
No, you absolutely do not need a lawyer to file a request for a disability hearing. And, in fact, if you are not represented and you are approaching the deadline for filing (you always have sixty days to file an appeal following a disability denial plus an additional five days for mailing time, which makes for a total of 65 days to file from the date of your last denial) it may be a very good idea to file the hearing request on your own.
Why is this? Because if are dangerously close to the deadline for submitting a disability appeal and are thinking of getting a lawyer to assist you, the lawyer you choose may not have the time (depending on how many days you left to file) to get your appeal in.
This is for the following reason: before a disability lawyer can submit an appeal on your behalf, they have to have a completed authorization of representative form from you. This is known as form SSA-1696.
So, if you are bumping up against a filing deadline and would like representation, you can call a lawyer and have them request a hearing for you. But...if you are dangerously close to a deadline, don't take any chances. Instead, request the hearing yourself and then contact a disability lawyer.
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New York Disability