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Application for Disability - Getting a lawyer's help

Although there are many disability lawyers who do not help claimants file their Social Security Disability applications if this is something that you desire you will need to find a disability lawyer willing to provide this service. If you do hire a disability lawyer at the initial application stage there are several functions they should perform.

1.    Helping the SSI or SSDI claimant file their initial application

If the disability lawyer is willing to help the claimant file the SSI or SSDI initial application they can do one of three things: help the claimant file their SSDI or SSI application through the SSA website, schedule the telephone interview for the disability claimant, or schedule an in person interview for the claimant to meet with an SSA representative.

The amount of information and help that a disability lawyer will provide to claimants as they complete the SSI or SSDI application varies by attorney office. If you need a lot of attention you may want to notify your disability lawyer of this up-front and find out if their case load will allow them to assist you at the level you expect.

2.    Contact the state agency and make sure the claim is filed correctly.

After the claim has been completed either by the disability lawyer or by the claimant the disability lawyer can contact the specialist at the state agency to make sure the SSI or SSDI file has been filed properly. The disability lawyer should also make sure that it is clearly denoted on the file that the SSI or SSDI claimant has legal representation so the disability lawyer is notified of developments with the disability case.

Although the lawyer is generally notified of case developments most lawyers will agree to have the case analyst speak directly to the claimant to gather any information they need. This is generally allowed to expedite the processing of the SSI or SSDI claim.

3.    Help claimants with Reconsideration Appeals

One of the biggest benefits of having a disability lawyer help with your case from the beginning is that if you are denied they are ready to immediately proceed with the appeal paperwork. All appeals must be done within 60 days from the date of the denial and if you have not been working with a disability lawyer and you do not immediately begin looking for an attorney when you get the denial letter, you might find that a disability lawyer does not have enough time to review your case and complete the reconsideration paperwork in time, forcing you to make the reconsideration request yourself.

If you decide to hire a disability lawyer at the reconsideration level the process is similar to what they would do at the SSI or SSDI application level. The disability lawyer will review your case and file the Request for Reconsideration form, the disability report and an Authorization for Release of Medical Information. The claimant must sign the medical release form; all other forms can be completed by the disability lawyer.

Next the disability lawyer will complete step two to make sure the appropriate SSA agency has the Request for Reconsideration.
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