Should I Hire An Attorney?
Social Security rules for evaluating disability and your work history are very technical and complicated. Social Security does not require a person to be represented by an attorney. However, the government’s own figures show that benefits are awarded far more frequently to claimants with attorneys than those who chose to handle their claims without the assistance of an attorney. Furthermore, the hearing before an administrative law judge is considered a legal proceeding.
Every case is different. The role of an attorney depends on the particular facts of each case. Attorneys in Social Security Disability cases do much more than sit in a hearing and ask a few questions. Much pre-hearing preparation, analysis and evidence gathering go into adequate representation for each case.
As your attorney, a few of the things we may do are:
- Gather medical or other evidence
- Provide a thorough evaluation and explanation of your claim
- Obtain documents from your Social Security Disability file
- Ask that prior application for benefits be reopened
- Contact your doctor to obtain a report consistent with Social Security rules
- Prepare you to testify at hearing
- Present an opening or closing statement at the hearing
- Request timely appeals to proper level of appeal
- Seek waiver of time limit
- Make sure that you receive the correct amount of benefits if approved