Do I need an attorney to apply for Social Security disability benefits?

It’sn’t necessary, but you have the right to get professional representation when dealing in authorities like the Social Security Administration (SSA). It may be an attorney or an advocate for disabled people who isn’t an attorney but has completed an SSA-administered exam and also met other academic and professional standards.

The decision to get help from a professional is a choice that is personal and is based on your personal situation. However, research has proven that working with a professional will increase your odds of obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) These are two programs run by the SSA that provide benefits to those with disabilities.

Advocates or lawyers can complete your SSDI and SSI request on your behalf and assist you to collect medical records and other proof to support your claim. They will be able to check your application for any errors or omissions which could harm the chances of success. They are able to accompany you on discussions or meeting together with social security disability lawyer in NYC, The SSA works directly with your representative, and will provide access to the information in the file of your Social Security file.

A lawyer or advocate is especially crucial if you are not satisfied the Social Security’s original decision regarding your claim and you decide to file an appeal.

Your representative will prepare you as well as any witnesses you have to appear in front of an administrative judge, which is the second step in the appeals process. They may question experts who Social Security presents. A study conducted in 2017 by the Federal Government Accountability Office found that those who have representation at hearings on disability are triple more likely succeed.

How do you find an attorney who can help with disability

There are thousands of lawyers and professional advocates throughout the U.S. with expertise in Social Security disability. Certain advocates have previously were employed by the SSA as claim examiners, or disability inspectors.

The nearest Social Security office can provide the legal referral services as well as non-profit organizations, such as Bar associations as well as legal aid groups which can assist you in finding representation. the National Organization for Social Security Claimants’ Reps offers a referral service and it is possible to search online directories of lawyers like Avvo, FindLaw and to find lawyers in your area that specialize in disability claims.

If you’ve decided on a person to handle your case you’ll need to inform Social Security in writing. Download the SSA-1696 form on the Social Security website and send the completed form to the closest Social Security office. Or, you can have your representative fill it out electronically for you. Both of you as well as your representative need to sign electronically to verify.

In the COVID-19 epidemic, Social Security is also allowing claimants to request a representative verbally during a conference call before the administrative law judge. The claimant must submit a in writing after the.

How much will it cost you?                                                                                                       

Advocates and lawyers for disabled people are paid on a contingency basis, which means they only receive compensation if your claim is accepted. Any fee arrangement with you or your advocate is required to be approved through Social Security.

In the event that your case is approved, Social Security pays your representative directly out of “back pay” which is the past due benefits that SSA will decide to award after having verified that you’re medically qualified to be eligible for benefits, even while waiting for a decision on your claim. In a typical fee arrangement the amount paid to the representative is set by law in the United States as 25 percent the back pay, or $6,000 if it is less.

In certain situations your representative can submit a fee petition to Social Security requesting more than the cap of $6,000 such as in the event of several appeals, which required lots of additional work. Or when you changed attorneys mid-stream and both want the payment. Social Security must approve any additional fees.

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