If you’re securing disability insurance benefits, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. A reasonable attorney will help you navigate SSA regulations and zealously represent you before the judge.
Most disability attorneys offer free consultations. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your case’s facts and see whether they can help you.
With the Social Security Administration (SSA) denying most disability claims, an attorney can help you compile and organize physical medical evidence and file a timely claim. A lawyer typically does not require payment upfront. Instead, they are paid a fee out of your backpay award if you are approved for benefits.
A trained disability representative can prepare you for an administrative law judge hearing, the second level of appeals. A lawyer will also ensure that all necessary evidence is submitted before the hearing date and they are familiar with SSA’s strict deadlines. This prevents unnecessary postponements. In addition, to help you with a VA claim, a lawyer will review your medical records and determine if you need to undergo a consultative examination with an SSA doctor or get additional testing done independently.
An experienced attorney will ensure that your claim’s relevant medical evidence is immediately presented. This includes gathering and submitting physician reports and filling out the correct forms required by Disability Determination Services.
A trained lawyer will also cross-examine the medical experts at your hearing. This may include presenting critical evidence of disabling symptoms, such as drug or alcohol use, treatment records indicating a high-functioning individual, such as international travel or working out at the gym, and other factors that may question the medical expert’s testimony.
Trained disability attorneys understand the types of evidence that SSA judges want to see. They will get access to your medical records to gather the correct information, such as a statement from your treating physician about your disability diagnosis and prognosis, an RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) assessment, which shows what physical and mental limitations you have, and other supportive statements of fact that help make a strong case.
If the SSA denies your disability claim at the reconsideration level, your attorney can help you request an appeal hearing with a Judge. This is often a lengthy process, and your attorney may know how to present a more persuasive argument that will result in a favorable ruling from the judge.
A disability attorney also understands how to cross-examine a medical expert to persuade them to change their view in favor of their client. This is a critical step in winning a disability hearing and ultimately receiving approval for financial assistance.
Trained attorneys understand how to present the case most favorably for their clients.
They may elicit supporting statements from your treating physicians. They also know what kind of opinion evidence is most persuasive at the hearing level. They also have a good idea of what questions to ask the medical expert hired by the SSA for your hearing.
Most disability lawyers charge fees for their services, but this isn’t paid upfront. Instead, the attorney or advocate receives a portion of the backpay award if you win your claim. They’ll usually have you sign a medical privacy release to get access to your medical records. They’ll also request consultative examinations from the SSA doctor or have you undergo testing independently. They can then submit these reports to the SSA judge for their review.