5 Things to Know Before Hiring Social Security Disability Attorneys
The process of obtaining Social Security disability pay is not an easy one. Therefore, it actually makes sense for most people to hire an attorney to help them with their application. Of course you probably have a lot of questions about the process. Before you talk to your Social Security disability attorney in Idaho Falls, you can read a little bit more about what’s going to happen here.
How Does the Process Start?
Your first step is to meet with an attorney or a member of his staff for an initial consultation. This consultation may be done over the phone. During this meeting, the attorney will review your case and determine your chances of success. If the lawyer doesn’t think your application for Social Security disability benefits will be approved, then the attorney probably won’t even take your case.
Will Medical Evidence Be Needed?
In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you have to qualify under one of the disability listings, prove that you can’t work at any of the jobs you’ve held, or prove that you can’t even perform a sedentary job. Any of these arguments must be proved to the Social Security Administration, and doing so requires specific medical evidence.
Your lawyer will ask you to sign a privacy release in order obtain your medical records. He or she may also order additional exams for you depending on what type of documentation is still required to complete your case.
What Happens at the Disability Hearing?
At the disability hearing, you will be asked a long list of questions. These questions will cover your medical history, any legal or illegal drug use, and your prescription history. You may also be asked which activities you enjoy doing or can no longer do, and whether or not you’re able to walk up and down the stairs.
Your attorney will go over many of these questions a month or two before your hearing. You need to be honest with your lawyer so that he can help you build your case. Your conversation with your lawyer is confidential, and he or she cannot pass this information on to the Social Security administration. But it’s in your best interest to cooperate with your attorney to improve your chances of winning your case.
Will There Be Witnesses?
Witnesses can harm or hurt your case. Your lawyer will have to decide if calling witnesses is a good idea. However, he or she may request your former employers or caregivers to provide a written letter to support your disability.
What Will the Attorney Say?
Obviously, your attorney will argue that you qualify for disability pay. But how he or she will do that depends on why you qualify for benefits. You may qualify by being diagnosed with an illness listed by the Social Security office. In that case, it will be your attorney’s job your illness is properly documented to meet the requirements set by the SSA.
If the SSA claims that you can still do your prior job, then it’s your attorney’s job to prove otherwise. This is often used for elderly, less educated applicants who can perform minimally active work. If this method doesn’t work in your case, then your lawyer has to prove that you cannot even perform a sedentary job.