Do I really have to hire a lawyer for my Social Security Disability claim?
Learn when it’s most important to hire a lawyer for your Social Security disability claim, and why it’s best to have an attorney if you have to appeal.
When You Might Not Need a Lawyer
If you have a very clear-cut and severe illness or injury that will clearly disable you for more than twelve months, then you probably don’t need a lawyer for your Social Security Disability claim; but, you may want one just to make things easier for you.
When It’s Best to a Hire a Lawyer
If you have any other situation, hiring a lawyer well-versed in Social Security Disability law for help with your initial claim may save you from having to file a Social Security appeal. The sooner that your claim is laid out fully and clearly to the Social Security Administration, the sooner you are likely to be approved. Your attorney can guide you and your physicians so that all necessary documentation is submitted with your initial claim.
If you are disabled by a combination of medical problems, if you have a diagnosis that does not always disable (such as fibromyalgia), or if you are disabled by pain, fatigue, or mental illness, having a Social Security attorney can be a big help. Your attorney will know which of your clinical findings and symptoms are signs of disability and should be emphasized in your claim.
Disability Attorneys for Denied Claims
If you are denied twice and have to request a disability hearing, a Social Security lawyer can sometimes get a favorable decision “on-the-record,” so that you don’t have to go to an actual hearing. This can speed up how fast you get an approval. If you do have to go to court, then your attorney will help you prepare for the hearing, secure affidavits, arrange witnesses, explain hearing protocol, help you answer questions, and ask questions at the hearing.
Another good reason for having a lawyer for your Social Security Disability hearing is that it can be comforting to have an active ally with you in court. For more information about disability hearings, see our article What Is a Social Security Disability Hearing and What Can I Expect When I Request a Disability Hearing? For information on payment for attorneys, please visit How Do Social Security Disability Attorneys Get Paid for Representing You in Your Disability Claim?
Understanding Social Security Disability (SSD)—An Overview of the Basics
Social Security Disability Requirements: How to Qualify for SSD
Social Security Disability Insurance: A Complete Guide
What kinds of Social Security disability benefits might I qualify for?
What is disability according to Social Security Disability law?