If you’re trying to claim your Social Security disability benefits, you may wonder if you need a lawyer. While it isn’t required to have representation, it is often advised. Social Security lawyers are well-versed in how to file the appropriate applications successfully. As such, working with one means you’re less likely to be denied your claim.
A Social Security attorney in Los Angeles recommends that you understand everything you’ll be up against should you choose to do it yourself. However, when you have a disability, you may not have time to wait to receive that money.
What is the Claims Process for Social Security?
The steps listed below explain the process for making a Social Security Disability claim. Research has shown that you have a better chance of getting Social Security Disability through either SSA-run programs – the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – when you have representation through an attorney.
With an attorney, it is easier to file an appeal should your application be denied. Considering that most Social Security Disability benefits are denied the first time, you can save a great deal of time and money, all while qualifying for the disability benefits you deserve.
Applying for Your Social Security Disability Benefits
To apply, you will need to go to your local Social Security office if you’re doing it on your own. If you are using a Social Security lawyer, you can simply go to their office and let them assist you. If you have been disabled for at least 12 months and have a significant impairment that is well documented, then a lawyer can help lead the way through the process.
The application will request information about your education, work, and medical history. In some cases, you may be asked to have an examination by an SSA physician to verify your claims. This is why an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability can help you know how to work with your doctor and your application for a true representation of your disability.
Handling a Denial of Your Claim
Most of the time, disability claims are initially denied by the SSA. You will want to file an appeal on the decision at this point. If you filed your claim on your own, you would most certainly want to seek a Social Security lawyer to represent you for the appeal.
Request a Hearing
With a denied claim, you will need to appeal the decision by the Social Security Administration. Your attorney will request a hearing on your behalf before an administrative law judge. Expert legal representation is essential here, as attorneys who know the process know exactly what to do.
Generally, that includes writing to the doctors that have examined and treated you to show proof of your medical condition. You may also need to see specialists who will also file reports about your medical needs.
Social Security Disability Hearing
While there will be testimony under oath, the hearing will be more informal than in other cases. You’ll be prepared for what will happen by your attorney, who will lay out the truth and explain why the Social Security Act needs to fulfill its role in your case.
What Happens When a Decision is Made?
The judge will not usually announce the decision at the Social Security Disability Hearing. The atmosphere will often indicate if the decision is favorable; however, you must wait for the official one to arrive in writing. This written decision will be sent to you and your attorney and will generally take a minimum of two to three months after the hearing has taken place.
Often, the written decision will take longer to receive. If it is favorable, you will receive your first check roughly one to two months after this approval has been granted.
If the news is not what you hoped to hear and your application is denied again, you still have other options for claiming your disability benefits. Your Social Security lawyer can file a request for review with the Social Security Appeals Council. They may find the administrative law judge to have made a mistake or a poor decision and then request to hold another hearing. Even if that falls through, the next step would be to file a complaint in the U.S. District Court.
Because of the nuances and challenges in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, seeking qualified representation is advised. With a Social Security attorney working for you, the process will be a smoother one from the start.