When you become disabled due to an injury or illness and decide to seek disability benefits, you may expect the process to be smooth sailing. However, even when it is obvious you are disabled and deserve to be awarded benefits, your initial claim will likely be denied. In fact, research shows that over 65% of all first-time disability claims are denied by the Social Security Administration. Should this happen to you, the remaining choices are either to give up on receiving benefits you deserve, or instead hiring an attorney to help you with the process. If you choose the latter, here are three important ways an attorney can help with your disability benefits.
Understanding the Process
More than anything, your disability attorney will understand the process that is involved in seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. From knowing how to properly fill out form after form to helping you navigate the most efficient way to obtain medical documentation of your disability, these are just a few ways an attorney can help. While doing so, they can also explain your various legal options regarding filing deadlines, any interviews you may need to do with SSA personnel, and what you can do in the event your claim is denied.
A Buffer Between You and the SSA
Since you are already under tremendous stress due to the injury or illness that led to your disability, having to spend countless hours going back and forth with SSA personnel over what seem to be minor details can cause many people to abandon their quest to receive disability benefits to which they are entitled. If this sounds much too familiar to you, hiring an attorney can quickly change your fortunes for the better. By acting as a buffer between you and the SSA, your attorney can provide you with updates on your case as they become available, contact the SSA on your behalf to find out answers to various questions, and give you legal guidance should you believe an SSA representative is not acting according to the rules of their job. Whatever the case may be, never hesitate to trust your lawyer’s judgement in these situations.
Representing You at an Appeal Hearing
Since the vast majority of SSA disability claims are denied the first time around, it is likely you will need an attorney to represent you during an appeal regarding your benefits claim. Since it will be critical at this hearing that you be able to fully explain to the judge just how severely disabled you are and why you deserve to be awarded your benefits, your attorney can use their knowledge and experience to guide you through the questioning. Also, prior to the hearing, your attorney can work with you on how to answer the types of questions you may be asked, how to dress and act at the hearing, and other important details. In fact, if you are disabled to the point that appearing at a hearing is out of the question, your attorney can request an OTR decision from the judge, meaning your claim could be approved faster and without a formal hearing.
Rather than go it alone and be denied disability benefits you need and deserve, hire an experienced disability benefits attorney to assist you in every way possible.