Social Security Disability Claims: Starting The Process With A Lawyer Versus Appeals With A Lawyer
When you file for social security disability benefits, there are pluses and minuses to starting the process with a lawyer in tow. It is also a very different sort of process when you do not hire a lawyer until your appeals for benefits have begun. So that you have a clearer and more informed approach to filing for and claiming your disability benefits, here are the significant differences between starting the process with a social security attorney and starting your appeals process with an attorney.
Starting the Process with a Lawyer
When you start your disability claim with a lawyer's help, he or she can help you bypass some of the red tape that ordinarily forces you to undergo a long and arduous process. The lawyer can be the one that gathers up all of your documents and records and sends them with his cover letter directly to your nearest social security office. Since your lawyer would have a direct line into the social security office (and not a toll-free number that forces you to sit on the line for several minutes), he or she can regularly check up on your claim for you and see where the social security office is at with your claim. Your lawyer might even be able to move things along a little faster, since some social security offices tend to move a little slower than others with the claims process.
Hiring a Lawyer When You Start Appeals
While you can certainly save yourself some money by not hiring a lawyer when you first file a claim for disability benefits, you may find that you will have to go through the appeals process more than once when you are initially denied benefits. Like an insurance company that often refuses to accept and pay an initial claim, the social security office is required to refuse anyone that does not have a substantial need for benefits. They can also deny benefits if you cannot successfully prove the presence of a disability that disallows them gainful employment.
The appeals process is nearly impossible to navigate without a lawyer, which is why you should seriously consider having a lawyer by the time you file your appeals. The lawyer can take your original claim, all of your paperwork and any new documents, and work for you to get your benefits passed and your claim accepted. Because the appeals process may take longer (even with a lawyer's help), it is best to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible so that you can attempt to shorten the appeals process and maybe receive your benefits sooner.
For more information and tips, contact a law firm that specializes in social security law, such as Ball & Ferrari.