An experienced disability lawyer will provide legal services to the claimants seeking Social Security Disability Benefits claims or may be appealing denied benefits.  

An applicant can apply for the disability benefits on their own. However, getting approved for the disability may be challenging. (Get more information on How to win social security disability without a lawyer?)

Role Of a Disability Attorney In The SSDI Process

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is stressful. Many applicant’s claims also get rejected owing to inaccurate information provided or not meeting the deadlines. This is where the role of an comes into play, as they can handle various things for the applicants.

  • Reviewing disability case
  • Developing an appropriate theory about your case
  • Social Security Disability Listing
  • Utilizing the Grid System
  • Less than Sedentary work
  • Filing with accurate and complete information
  • Gathering Medical Records and Evidence
  • Representation in SSI and SSDI Appeals
  • Reviewing disability case

A legal professional can review disability cases in a better way. They can suggest when you need to apply or when to appeal in case of a denial. (Learn more about 7 Reasons For Denial Of Social Security Disability) The denial reasons can be used to prepare for the appeal. 

  • Developing an appropriate theory about your case

Your lawyer may create a story or theory about the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability after reviewing the case.  Some of the theories that a lawyer can use are as follows:

  • Your condition is meeting the disability listing
  • You are unable to do any type of work and are grid out
  • Your impairment meets the disability listing

After understanding the theory, a lawyer can help you by arguing better.

  • Social Security Disability Listing

The SSA has specified all the impairments in their Blue Book, which provides eligibility criteria for the disabling conditions that qualify for benefits. If you have a disability condition mentioned in the Blue Book, the SSA will analyze your impairment for eligibility. 

Your attorney will help you by comparing the information that you are providing and the evidence surrounding your condition. They might even guide you on what you may experience with the SSA’s doctor and specific tests you may undergo. 

They may guide you on how to answer questions asked in the disability interview. Along with this, they will also provide you with an understanding of the things that you must avoid saying in the disability interview.

  • Utilizing The Grid System

If an applicant does not meet the eligibility criteria of a particular listed impairment, the SSA will use the grid rules to determine whether you are disabled or not. Some factors that are mentioned in the grid rules are:

  • Age
  • Residual functional capacity (RFC) level
  • Work history
  • Job skills
  • Education

Your attorney may use all of these factors along with Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to determine that you are unable to do the work. However, if the medical condition is not based on physical disability, there will be no grid rules as they are helpful for older applicants associated with limited work.

  • Less Than Sedentary Work

Suppose the above-mentioned two options do not work; your attorney may work to prove that you are unable to do sedentary work. They need to have sufficient evidence to prove their point, which includes 

  • Applicant’s personal testimony
  • Opinions from your doctors
  • Applicant’s medical records

If they establish and prove that you are unable to do any work with light objects, SSA may consider that you are disabled.

  • Filing with accurate and complete information

One of the reasons for denial of disability claim application is lack of information. This is because incomplete information may result in the rejection of the claim. This is one of the fundamental reasons to hire a disability lawyer who can let you fill in the complete information in the application form and do claim evaluation. Without using a legal eye, it may be impossible for you to present the information correctly, such as work credits required in SSDI

  • Gathering Medical Records and Evidence

The applicant who is struggling with the disabling condition must have sufficient medical conditions to prove their disability. The SSA will check and review all the records and evidence. A lawyer may help you collect the appropriate evidence that will be good for your social security disability claim. Moreover, they will also help to gather missing medical records of your impairment. 

  • Representation in Appeals

The initial application of many people gets rejected due to lack of evidence or incomplete application. Therefore, a lawyer may represent you in appeal hearings in all four stages including:

  • Request for reconsideration
  • An administrative law judge hearing
  • Appeals Council review
  • Federal Court review

They will lend you a helping hand at every step of the appeal process, strengthening your claim.

Examples of questions you might get during a hearing include:

  • Are you currently seeing a doctor for your condition?
  • Are you currently working?
  • Do you abuse illegal drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you ever take more than the pain medication your doctor has prescribed?
  • When did you first become unable to work?
  • What treatments for your disease have you tried?
  • How would you describe your specific symptoms?

What Value Can A Disability Attorney Add To Your Claim That You Can’t?

An experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer may represent you in the appeal procedure, protect your rights, and collect medical records and other evidence to help you seek benefits. They may ensure that your disability application form is submitted with complete information and meet the deadlines.

Lawyers Can Access The SSA’s Electronic Records Express

Attorneys and SSA’s representatives have direct access to the electronic records express (ERE). It includes all the applicant’s case details that comprises medical records along with a work history report. The lawyers ensure that SSA has access to all your case crucial information. Moreover, they will follow up with the SSA for any missing documents from the electronic records express (ERE).  

Lawyers Can Write On-The-Record Briefs

Disability attorneys and SSA’s representatives may provide additional documents that will support your disability claim application. One of the such documents is an on-the-record brief that summarizes all medical records of all years in a few pages. It will help the Administrative Law Judge to grant disability benefits without going to the hearing process. 

Lawyers Are Familiar With Social Security Codes and GRID Rules

The Social Security Administration try to use their own methods to segregate vocational abilities and medical conditions which are known as GRID rules. These guidelines will help to differentiate from how healthcare providers categorize different medical conditions. 

Lawyers Keep SSA Representatives Honest

The SSA’s representatives may at times make mistakes as they are human. Therefore, if you have a lawyer by your side they will keep the representatives alert on meeting the deadlines and submitting all the correct information about the applicant. In case they make a mistake, the lawyers are there to correct them.

FAQs on Disability lawyers

You need to check and clarify whether the lawyer responds quickly and update you after every hearing. Firstly, you need to see whether they communicate well with you or not.
Lawyers who do not prepare well for a hearing are often categorized as bad. Good lawyers tend to meet with their clients twice or thrice to know their case before going to the hearing. It helps them to understand the case.
You should not hesitate to speak to a lawyer when it is required to do so for your case. Good lawyers are always available for their clients along with their supportive staff to handle all their queries.
Yes, lawyers can help you fill the disability application for their clients. However, some lawyers may refrain from filling it themselves. Do not consider it as their negative. They may do it for your benefit as they have an understanding of the local Disability Determination Service office.