How Long Should I Wait Before I Get A Disability Lawyer?
Generally, you do not need a disability lawyer when you file your initial disability claim with Social Security. However, if you have memory problems or other mental problems that may prevent you from providing Social Security with the information they need to make a medical determination, you may wish to consider obtaining the services of a disability lawyer or a non-attorney disability representative for your disability claim. And, to be blunt, you may wish to do this if you think that you have enough going on in your life that you may drop the ball when it comes time to follow up on the filing of an appeal (if an appeal becomes necessary -- and about seventy percent of the time it does become necessary).
If you have no problems that prevent you from providing information to Social Security during the time it takes to process your initial disability claim, then you may wish to wait until a decision is made on your case. If your initial disability decision is a denial and you wish to begin the Social Security disability appeal process, you should probably consider getting a disability lawyer. Although, still, if you are able to complete your appeal paperwork and return it to Social Security within the sixty-five day appeal period, you still may wish to wait.
Having said that, if your social security reconsideration appeal is denied, you would be well justified in getting disability representation. That's simply because most reconsideration appeals are denied, forcing claimants to file their second appeal in the process.
Your second appeal level is a request for a disability hearing with an administrative law judge and just like any other hearing you will probably have a better chance of winning your case if you have representation. Disability lawyers are familiar with the medical and vocational guidelines that can help win your disability case. They can present your disability claim in a manner that is most favorable to your being approved for Social Security disability.
There is no certain answer to the question of how long should you should wait to get a disability lawyer. The simple truth is that it depends upon where a case "is at" as well as the individual claimant.
You should remember that if you do decide to get a disability lawyer that they are entitled to a fee if they win your case for you (meaning, of course, that there is no fee if the case is not won). Currently, disability lawyers and representatives are allowed to receive a fee of twenty five percent of any back payment up to the set maximum fee amount (to see the current max: Social Security Disability Attorney Fees - What is the Representation Fee? ). They are also entitled to bill for “incidental “expenses such as travel, cost of medical records, copies, etc. These other expenses must be listed in the fee agreement that is signed when representation is obtained, making it, once again, prudent to read anything before you put your signature on it.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Will you get Approved for Disability if you have an Open and Shut Case?
Do I need a lawyer to get disability benefits from Social Security?
Social Security Disability Attorney Fees - What is the Representation Fee?
How many Americans become disabled?
Is is faster on an SS appeal to hire a lawyer?
Questions about Disability Benefits from Social Security
How Much Can You get in Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits?
Can you receive VA disability Social Security Disability and SSI ?
If you are turned down and denied for disability
Decisions on Disability Applications - Fully and Partially Favorable
Can You Win a Disability Claim if You Have Little Medical Documentation due to a Lack of Health Care?