If you want to win your Social Security Disability SSD or SSI claim, you should hire only the Best Disability Lawyer available. Inexperience is not an option. Do not settle on a firm where their top attorneys are handling other high-stake matters such as personal injury. Select a firm that handles only SSD and SSI so that the top attorneys are their best Disability Lawyers.
Find the best Disability Lawyer for your particular claim. Some Claimants cannot read or write or their conditions make it difficult to apply. Consequently, we can file your disability application for you if you wish, but most Claimants prefer to file their applications themselves. The best Disability Lawyers and successful Claimants agree that involving the Claimant helps prepare the Claimant to ultimately win their disability hearing.
Most Social Security Disability and SSI Claimants are denied benefits within a few months of filing their original applications. This means that in order to prevail, most Claimants will one day have to win their claims at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Consequently, your goal should be to pursue your case with the intent of winning a hearing with a top Disability Lawyer. You want the best Disability Lawyer to handle your claim who has handled thousands of disability hearings.
Hard work and years of experience in the disability arena are qualities found among the best Disability Lawyers. Free Consultation with a top Disability Lawyer early in the process is one of the best ways to maximize your likelihood of prevailing at your hearing. And, you should use your Free Consultation to determine whether the disability firm you are speaking with has the best Disability Lawyer for your specific needs.
Although many disability firms will say you need an attorney to apply, this is simply not true. If they tell you this, you can bet they do not have the best Disability Lawyers available. The best Disability Attorneys typically do not like to spend their time completing an application that the Claimant can do his or herself. Instead, the best Disability Lawyers would rather devote their time and efforts to more complex issues that the Claimant will not be able to accomplish.
At Social Security Professionals, we believe the very best Disability Lawyers should devote their time and efforts preparing hearing and appeal briefs and preparing Claimants for their hearings. Although we can prepare and file your application for you, most Claimants like to do that themselves and we remain available to the Claimant for Free Advice and Free Consultation. That is what the best Disability Lawyers do. The best Disability Lawyers handle the complex issues that Claimants are not trained to handle. Top Disability Attorneys will encourage the Claimant to stay involved with their case. Successful Claimants who ultimately win their cases always agree that their involvement with their own application helped them learn the process and helped prepare them to understand and win their disability hearing.
Although we will file your application for you if you wish, we want to make it clear to you that you don’t need to hire an attorney to apply for disability benefits. Some of the best Disability Lawyers will admit this to you.
The application does not involve any legal knowledge. True, the application and various forms are long and time consuming, but simple. The Social Security Administration wants to know why you can’t work, what conditions you suffer, the names addresses and phone numbers of your treating physicians and mental health professionals, your work history, and the medications you take and side effects from them, if any. All of the above information is within your own knowledge and it makes little or no sense for you to pay an attorney who will have a secretary or assistant take that information from you and relay it to the Social Security Administration and then charge an attorney fee.
Beware of the FUNCTION REPORT – ADULT. It is a 8-9 page daily activities questionnaire that you will be asked by SSA to complete during the application process. Some attorneys do not recognize the significance of this questionnaire and simply tell the Claimant to complete it themselves. Other attorneys, let a secretary or assistant who has never seen a disability hearing help you with it. This is a serious mistake. The questionnaire is so important, that we have posted a warning about it multiple times in this website. Good disability Lawyers will never let you answer this by yourself. It is the single most important document you will complete because it can be fatal to your claim if not completed carefully and accurately. Do not attempt to answer it without a disability attorney’s advice. Call Social Security Professionals for a Free Consultation to discuss completion of this document.
TALK WITH A DISABILITY ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU APPLY
Even though you do not need an attorney to file your application, you should always speak with a top disability lawyer as soon as you can, preferably before you apply so that you can map out a coherent game plan designed to ultimately win your Social Security Hearing. In other words, you must begin working on winning your hearing even before you apply. The more organized you can present your claim, the easier it is for a Judge to decide in your favor. You will need an experienced disability lawyer who has handled thousands of hearings in order to do this. You can call Social Security Professionals at any time for a Free Consultation to discuss your case strategy. You want to speak with a real disability attorney, not a secretary, or assistant who has never seen a hearing. When you call a disability lawyer at Social Security Professionals to discuss your case, you will never be pushed off to a legal assistant or secretary. You will only discuss your case with the attorney who will ultimately handle your hearing.
Is a Disability “Representative” or “Advocate” the Same as an Attorney?
No? You can hire a non-attorney representative often referred to as a “representative” or “advocate”. Or, you can hire an attorney. Disability “representatives” or “advocates” are not attorneys and have no license although they may not want you to know this. Ironically, these non-attorneys charge attorney fees even though they are not attorneys. Interestingly, many people hire representatives or advocates believing they are hiring a licensed attorney when, in fact, they are not. Just about anybody can claim to be a representative or advocate. Although non-attorney representatives and advocates are allowed to handle Social Security claims, their backgrounds differ significantly from licensed attorneys in various respects. There is no advantage to hiring an advocate or representative but there can be a significant downside.
Advocates or representatives need little to no formal education or training and they are not regulated by State Bar Associations. If an attorney mishandles your case, the State Bar could literally take the attorney’s license away. If an advocate or representative mishandles your case, the State Bar cannot take that representative or advocate’s license because he or she doesn’t have a license to begin with.
Attorneys have numerous obstacles to overcome before they can be a licensed attorney. Attorneys have to graduate from College and then apply to and be accepted into Law School. Many Law School applicants are rejected. A prospective attorney will have to successfully graduate from law school but many fail in that regard and never become Attorneys. Even after graduating from Law School, the law student must pass a two day long State Bar Exam and pass an ethics background check in order to become a licensed attorney. Some would-be attorneys fail their Bar Exam and never become Attorneys. Consequently, if they wish to represent disability Claimants, they would have to do so in the capacity of a representative or advocate. Before hiring an attorney, make sure that he or she is indeed a real licensed attorney in good standing. Likewise, make sure that your prospective attorney is the Best Attorney for your particular needs.
In addition to the above, attorneys have had formal training during Law School and seminars in the art of direct and cross examination of witnesses and other trial techniques. Attorneys are able to appear in court and further develop trial skills. Simply stated, Attorneys are trained through formal education, continuing education, and through court experience to represent clients during an adversarial process. In the context of a Social Security Disability Hearing, attorneys are well prepared through years of education and training to battle SSA and expert witnesses who may testify against you so that you don’t have to. Ironically, non-attorney representatives charge attorney fees even though they are not attorneys. If you are going to pay attorney fees, it would make sense to hire a real Attorney. You don’t want any attorney, however. The most desirable and best Disability Lawyer will have years of experience preparing hearing and appeal briefs, winning hearings, and winning appeals. Finally, if your case ends up in a court of law such as Federal District Court on appeal, you should know that non-attorneys cannot appear in court, only attorneys can.