When to Know it is Time to Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Experienced Social Security lawyers are available to assist you, if you wish to file a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim or appeal.

Whether you need assistance in filing an SSDI, or you wish to request an appeal after the denial of your Social Security disability benefits, you may choose to obtain legal representation at any time. In some cases, you may even qualify for free or reduced-cost legal counsel.

“Where can I find Social Security lawyers near me?” you may wonder. Typically, your local Social Security office can direct you to organizations that may be able to help you find affordable legal counsel.

However, keep in mind that your legal representative cannot collect payment from you, until he or she receives written approval from the Social Security Administration (SSA), unless your attorney holds the money in a trust or an escrow account. Your Social Security lawyer cannot charge you more than the SSA approves.

If you hold a serious disability or medical condition, and can no longer work, a legal representative with experience in handling SSDI claims can help you receive compensation through the SSA.

Additional information about the ways in which a Social Security attorney can help you file an SSDI claim or appeal is available in the sections below. 

How SSDI and SSI Lawyers Can Assist You

Appointing a Social Security lawyer to assist you in filing an SSDI claim, or appeal, may be the right decision for you. This typically occurs if you believe you may be entitled to Social Security benefits, but wish to receive legal counsel to help you strengthen your case.

Without the right medical information and evidence, the SSA will deny your request for SSDI benefits.

Moreover, legal representatives can help you obtain all the evidence you need to strengthen your disability claim, while also helping you prepare for any upcoming hearings and interviews with the SSA.

Your legal representative can even attend these hearings and interviews on your behalf. Additionally, SSI attorneys can assist you in the following ways:

  • Gathering information and records from your medical provider that can be used to support your SSDI claim
  • Obtaining information from your Social Security file
  • Accompanying you to any Social Security interviews, hearings or conferences
  • Requesting a reconsideration or hearing on your behalf
  • Requesting a review before the Appeals Council
  • Gathering and questioning any witnesses who can help you to strengthen your case
  • Helping you, and your witnesses, prepare for a hearing

According to annual statistical reports, the SSA denied an average of 53 percent of all SSDI claims between 2001 to 2010.

Since Social Security lawyers specialize in SSDI and SSI claims, the SSA will be more likely to approve your request for benefits, if an attorney helps you file your claim or appeal.

When Social Security Lawyers Are Vital

While SSDI and SSI lawyers can help you strengthen your claim or appeal for Social Security disability benefits, there are several situations where hiring a legal representative to appoint you is imperative to winning your case.

If you do not have the right type of medical evidence to support your disability claim, for instance, you need a legal representative to help you gather the information you need.

Other situations that may require you to obtain legal representation include:

  • Your medical provider refuses to help you. Since medical evidence will be necessary to support your SSDI claim, you may need a lawyer’s help if your healthcare provider is unwilling to cooperate with you.
  • You wish to appeal your SSDI determination. Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer is crucial if the SSA denies your request for benefits, and you wish to file an appeal.
  • You need to appear before an Administration Law Judge (ALJ). If you hire a local SSI or SSDI lawyer to assist you, he or she will typically be familiar with the ALJ assigned to handle your case.
  • Your medical record contains “bad facts. If your medical record contains information that may harm your claim for SSDI benefits, an attorney will know how to minimize the negative effects of this information.
  • You are unfamiliar with the SSDI application process. Social Security lawyers can assist you, as you apply for benefits, if you are unfamiliar with the SSDI application process, do not understand the steps you need to take or your disability affects your ability to apply for benefits on your own.
  • You have been waiting for more than four months to receive a determination letter. If you applied for SSDI benefits, and have been waiting more than four months to hear back from the SSA, an experienced lawyer can help expedite the process.
  • Your disability prevents you from working. Hiring an SSDI lawyer is vital if you hold a debilitating disability that prevents you from working and earning a living, as an experienced attorney can help you receive the SSDI benefits to which you are entitled.

Moreover, Social Security attorneys can help you simplify the initial process of applying for SSDI benefits.

Since legal representatives are familiar with the SSDI application process, an experienced attorney can help you to gather the information and medical evidence you need to avoid delays and claim denials.

Where can I find a Social Security lawyer near me?

“How can I find a disability attorney near me?” you may ask. If you wish to seek legal counsel when applying for SSDI benefits, or requesting an appeal after a claim denial, contact your local Social Security office to get started.

In most cases, Social Security offices can direct you to local organizations that may be able to assist you. While you may be able to obtain free legal representation, depending on your specific situation, the average cost of hiring a disability attorney is about $3,750, according to NOLO.

After hiring a Social Security attorney to assist you, you must notify the SSA as soon as possible. To do so, you must complete and submit an Appointment of Representative Form to the Social Security Administration (SSA-1696-U4).

Additionally, you must include your signature and the name of your legal representative. If your representative is not an attorney, however, he or she must also sign the Appointment of Representative Form.