3 Benefits of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney
Bureaucratic runaround is a trademark of government agencies at virtually every level. While in many states the driver’s license departments are a standing joke, nationally the Social Security Administration is the unquestioned master of the paperwork shuffle.
For many people, the first time they deal with the Social Security Administration is when they seek disability benefits. This unfamiliarity means those applying for disability income are at a significant disadvantage. They often assume that the process will be simple and straightforward. They might even possess the mistaken belief that the people working at the Social Security Administration are there to help them with their claim.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. The process is a labyrinth of red tape. As a result, the majority of first-time applicants for Social Security disability benefits are turned away.
Imagine playing a complicated card game and the stakes are hundreds of thousands of dollars. The players are not allowed to know the rules of the game in advance. The dealer can end the game at any time if he believes a player has made a minor error in the game’s rules.
That is the situation people face when they apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Fortunately, in the Social Security game, players may hire an expert–someone who is allowed to play the game in their behalf.
For people seeking Social Security disability income, hiring an attorney who specializes in disability cases provides 3 distinct advantages:
The first and most obvious benefit an expert in Social Security cases offers is an intimate familiarity with the system. In contrast to most people who only ever deal with the Social Security Administration once or twice in a lifetime, an attorney who specializes in disability benefits works in that system every single day. He or she knows the procedures and understands the paperwork. He or she can help make sure an applicant has a strong case before the initial claim is filed.
A second benefit is that in addition to knowing the rules of the game, a disability attorney knows the players and their tendencies and idiosyncrasies. If a Social Security disability claim is denied, the appeals process is complicated and confusing. A skilled attorney who has spent years working through the system and developing key contacts can help swing the odds in favor of the person filing the appeal.
Third, some Social Security attorneys have a knowledge and understanding of medicine. Obviously, when claiming disability income because of a medical condition, having a legal representative with medical understanding provides a distinct advantage.
Some people don’t contact an attorney because they are concerned about the cost. When it comes to Social Security disability cases, most consultation are free and there is generally no cost unless benefits are granted. If an attorney helps a client win a disability case contingency fees are fairly standard–usually about 25% of back disability payments.
Most people filing disability claims do so because they have legitimate medical concerns. They usually are unable to work and they desperately need the income that disability payments would provide. The Social Security program is insurance, not welfare. Most people work many years to qualify for benefits.
In contrast, those who work at the Social Security Administration can become callous because they see a seemingly endless stream of applicants. Often overworked and under-appreciated, their focus can seem to be on finding any possible reason to deny a claim.
Under those circumstances, it makes sense for anyone considering a Social Security disability claim to utilize the services of a reputable and experienced attorney.