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Can the disability lawyer win my case every time?

One issue you may consider prior to filing your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application or your appeal is whether or not you should hire a disability lawyer. Recently on our forum an applicant asked, “Does hiring a disability lawyer guarantee that I will win my disability case?” This a great question, and the answer requires understanding what a disability lawyer can and cannot do for your SSDI or SSI claim.

What can a disability lawyer do?

Although disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and are only paid if you win, if you think you can win without a lawyer it would be a waste of money to hire one. The main consideration is whether or not you can effectively perform the tasks that disability lawyers generally do and win your case on your own. Disability lawyer can do the following:

  1. Fill out all the forms requested by the SSA administration.

  2. Assist with the initial application forms.

  3. File all appeals accurately and in a timely fashion.

  4. Provide expert advice for your case and answering all of your legal questions.

  5. Monitor the progress of your case through the SSA evaluation process.

  6. Make sure your claim has all the necessary updated medical records.

  7. Gather additional medical evidence to strengthen your SSDI or SSI claim.

  8. Prepare you for the administrative hearing.

  9. Ask the Administrative Law Judge to subpoena any witnesses necessary to proving your claim.

  10. Argue the case before the judge. This can include cross-examining witnesses (including the medical and vocational experts) and preserving the hearing's evidentiary record through proper and timely objections

  11. Review the benefit payment amounts and verify that you have received your full SSI or SSDI benefits.

Limitations of the disability lawyer

Whether or not you win your SSDI or SSI case can be based on many factors, many of which are not under the control of the disability lawyer. The disability lawyer cannot, therefore, guarantee any type of outcome. Can a great disability lawyer give you the best chance of winning benefits at every level of the disability process? Yes, but they can offer no guarantees. If you talk to a lawyer who makes a guarantee this should be a warning sign.

Factors which can influence your case include the disability examiners, who are different in each state and who bring their own prejudices to each case, although they are supposed to use “objective” evaluation techniques designed by the SSA. Judges also have varying approval records. For example, certain judges in some states have a very high approval rating while others do not.

In conclusion

Considering whether or not you will get an automatic approval by hiring a SSDI or SSI  lawyer should be only one consideration before determining whether or not to hire one. Review the list above, unless you have a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list or have a conditions which meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA listing of impairments it is likely that you will be denied the first time you apply and you will need a disability lawyer to help file multiple appeals and prepare your case for an administrative hearing.
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