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Can I choose my own SSDI attorney for my case?

SSDI attorney and my SSDI case

If you are sick and unable to work you may have filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You also may be like 70% of other first-time disability applicants who were denied SSDI or SSI benefits.If you have been denied disability you may be considering whether or not you should hire a disability lawyer.  Recently on our forum we had an applicant ask, “If I want to hire a SSDI attorney do I choose my own lawyer or does the Social Security Administration (SSA) appoint a lawyer for me?”

Can I hire my own SSDI attorney?

If you decide to appeal your disability denial you do have the legal right to hire your own disability lawyer. To find the right SSDI attorney you can talk to family members or friends or do some research online. Talk to several lawyers and find one that you feel you could comfortably work with.

Keep in mind, many disability lawyers will handle cases throughout the United States, and most of the work can be done via phone or email. The disability lawyer will travel to your city if your case eventually goes before the administrative law judge.

Should I hire a SSDI attorney?

Although you can hire a SSDI attorney  a better question to ask is, “Do I need to hire a lawyer?” If you hire a lawyer you will pay them only if they win your case. You will pay them 25% of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. If you do not win your case they are not paid.

Whether or not you need to hire a lawyer will depend on why you were denied and whether you have the time and energy to fight your denial on your own. For instance, if you were denied SSDI because the SSA did not have enough medical information to determine your condition was severe and you do not have the residual capacity to work, winning your case may be as simple as getting to the right doctors and providing the SSA with better medical records.

If the SSA believes you can retrain for new work, however, you may need a disability lawyer who understands how to counter claims from a jobs expert at the administrative hearing and prove you do cannot work any type of job.

Bottom line

Getting disability benefits can be a long, hard, and arduous process. If you are sick and do not have the time and energy to really understanding the process and do sufficient research to know how to win your case it is probably a good idea to hire a disability lawyer.

If you do win your disability case the SSA will send the disability lawyer their payment from your back pay prior to sending you a back pay check. If may seem like a lot of money, but you could easily waste more time and money floundering in the SSA disability system for months or years.
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