Social Security Disability
The most important reason to hire an attorney to help with your disability case is that your chances of being approved are significantly increased. While it’s certainly true that some people who apply on their own are approved for benefits, statistics show that, everything else being equal, Social Security is more likely to approve an applicant who’s represented by legal counsel than one who isn’t. From the initial application to the hearing level and beyond, disability attorneys understand how to present a case in the light most favorable to their clients. On the initial application, your lawyer can offer advice on your “alleged onset date” of disability, argue that your condition meets one of the listed impairments in Social Security’s “blue book,” and help you focus on the facts that will be most persuasive to Social Security. At the reconsideration and hearing levels (the first and second level of appeal in most states), your lawyer can collect and submit relevant medical evidence, obtain an opinion from your doctor, draft a detailed brief to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and prepare you for the judge’s questions at the hearing. Your attorney will also elicit helpful testimony from you at the hearing and may cross-examine the Vocational Expert or Medical Expert to demonstrate that you’re unable to work.