Applying for Disability–Do You Need a Lawyer?
Do you need a lawyer when applying for disability? That depends on several important factors that we will go over here. When you apply for Social Security disability, you are embarking on what can be a long, drawn out, and difficult journey, but one with very definite rewards for those who are patient and willing to advocate for themselves. You can certainly qualify for disability and get your approval letter without a lawyer, and many do. But the process of applying for disability often runs more smoothly and quicker if you have a legal expert on your side.
Here are some of the top reasons you may want to hire a lawyer when applying for disability:
1. Applying for Disability with a Lawyer Increases Your Chances for Success the First Time
Those disability applications are not easy to understand. They are full of legal, medical, and technical jargon that even people with advanced college degrees often have difficulty fully understanding. There is a reason there is a whole field of law that specializes in filing for disability, and that is because applying for disability is complicated, with a lot of different things to understand and navigate. Plus, the laws you have to follow to successfully apply for Social Security disability are constantly changing. So having a lawyer help you get the paperwork together alone is probably going to significantly increase your chances of getting approved on your first try.
2. Filing for Disability with a Lawyer Helps Win Appeals
You may not be approved the first time you apply for Social Security disability. This is normal. Most people are denied their first time, especially if they apply for Social Security disability the first time on their own. You can always appeal that denial, but doing it yourself is kind of like representing yourself in court….it’s not really a good idea and your chances of success are slim. You significantly boost your chances of a successful appeal when you have a lawyer representing you in your appeal. The lawyer will know just what to do, say, and present to maximize your chances of an approval. So if you were turned down for disability benefits the first time, a lawyer may be just what you need to get them on the second try.
3. Lawyers Can Often Get You Larger Retroactive Checks When You Apply for Social Security Benefits
When you hire a lawyer to help you with applying for disability, he or she gets paid out of your retroactive check when your benefits are approved. Your retroactive check is what Social Security would have been paying you each month the whole time you were applying and appealing, since the time they determined you became officially disabled. Sometimes, that check can be rather large, even into the thousands and more, depending on how long you’ve been waiting for approval.
Your lawyer will typically take 1/3 to 2/3 of this amount as his fee, so he will fight for you with Social Security to make sure they give you the latest possible disability determination date so you get the largest possible retroactive check. After all, that’s where his money is coming from, so he’ll want to make sure it’s a lot!
Applying for disability can be done on your own, but it’s much easier with a lawyer. If you are applying for disability, you may want to consider hiring one for the above reasons, and let the experts do most of the hard work of filing for disability for you.
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