Hired Disability Lawyer- How much work should I expect to do?
Is the Disability Lawyer doing their job?
Many disability applicants decide to hire a disability lawyer and think its time to sit back and allow the lawyer to do all the work. Many SSDI applicants have been asked to do a variety of tasks and wonder if this is a normal requirement or if their lawyer is simply slacking on the job. This blog will address what you should and should not be expected to do if you hire legal help to win SSDI or SSI disability benefits.
Hired a disability lawyer before you submitted your disability application
If you hired a disability lawyer prior to submitting your SSDI application you may be surprised to find that they want you to complete and submit your own SSDI application to the SSA. Although there are some lawyers and applicants who will submit your claim for you, most disability lawyers will not.
The application process is very time-consuming and tedious and most disability lawyers will argue that they simply cannot do this particular task for all claimants. If this is something you need done, talk to the disability lawyer BEFORE you hire a them.
Hiring a Disability lawyer after your first disability denial
If you hire a disability lawyer after your initial application is denied, if you contact them soon enough they should, as a normal part of their job responsibilities, be willing to complete and submit the Reconsideration paperwork for you. Completing the appeal forms is definitely part of the responsibilities of the lawyer.
The Disability lawyer asks me to get my medical records
We recently had a SSDI applicant ask if it was their responsibility to gather their own medical records from the SSA. This is not the responsibility of the claimant. In fact, the SSA will pull the claimants medical records when they evaluate the claimants case and will send the disability lawyer the disability file for their review.
Now, there may be times when a claimant has seen a doctor or generated more evidence to substantiate their claim and the lawyer asks the claimant to request this information from their doctors to strengthen their case. This request may be reasonable; in fact, if the claimant has a hearing scheduled in the near future an expedited request from the claimant may be required to get the information to the judge as soon as possible.
Expecting too much for your lawyer
One of the most common issues that I see is claimants expecting too much from their lawyer. Most of the disability process is hurry up and wait. The disability lawyer may not be working constantly on your case. Often they are waiting just like you for your claim to be reviewed or for your hearing to be scheduled.
Disability lawyers also cannot force your claim to the front of the disability processing line. Although they may increase your chances of winning at every stage in the disability process, they do not have many options for expediting your case.