In addition to helping you gather and submit medical evidence, disability attorneys can help you appeal a denial of benefits. Experienced disability attorneys can often spot errors in your initial application that caused a denial.
At a hearing, your attorney will prepare you for questions from the SSA’s vocational expert. These questions are designed to rule out specific types of work based on your limitations.
A disability attorney will go through the specifics of your case and what must be done to have you authorized for benefits when you meet with them. Usually, they will charge a contingency fee.
Most attorney for disability will offer advice about your initial application or reconsideration appeal and help you provide the best evidence possible. They will argue that your condition meets the criteria of one of the SSA’s “Blue Book” listings, gather compelling medical records to support your claim, and prepare you for questioning by the SSA at your hearing before an ALJ.
A hearing is often the most important stage in the disability appeals process. This is where the SSA will ask applicants sensitive and personal questions about their ability to work. Experienced disability attorneys know what questions to expect and how to answer them. They can help relieve your stress by managing the hearing’s logistics and ensuring you have the appropriate witnesses.
A disability attorney will take the time to obtain and review your medical records. They will also discuss the specifics of your condition and how it prevents you from working.
The strength of a disability claim depends on detailed medical evidence. Your lawyer will know what information is necessary for your application and how to get it quickly from your doctor.
They will compare your condition to the criteria in the SSA’s “Blue Book” to see whether you might qualify for disability benefits. Your attorney will also suggest whether submitting an ALJ appeal or a reconsideration request is wise.
Your disability lawyer will create a thorough brief for the ALJ if your case advances to a hearing and ensure no extraneous information is provided. They will also be able to counter testimony from the VE that could hurt your case.
In some cases, a disability attorney may be able to offer you a case evaluation before you hire them. You will gain insight into your case’s prospects of success from this casual encounter with an objective case assessor.
Experienced disability attorneys are intimately familiar with the SSA system. They can spot faults that might jeopardize your eligibility for benefits, such as having an excessive income, failing to provide sufficient medical documentation, or submitting an incomplete application. They also know what arguments work and don’t work and can request an “on-the-record” decision from the judge, which can expedite your case.
At your hearing, the disability attorney will question any vocational experts (VEs) the judge brings and cross-examine witnesses who testify against you. They will also use the VE’s testimony against them using hypothetical questions that show they can’t support their claims. They will help you through this trying time and act in your and your family’s best interests.
Meeting with the SSA
The SSA will examine your medical history to determine whether or not your condition precludes you from working in any capacity. If your circumstance warrants it, they could accept your disability claim at the first application stage or throughout an appeal for a review.
If you are unsuccessful, there are four appeals layers: an administrative hearing, appeals council, reconsideration, and federal district court. A disability lawyer will be able to guide you through each of these stages.
Experienced disability lawyers know the SSA’s evaluation process like the back of their hands. They will ensure your application is filled out correctly and gather important evidence to present to the SSA. They will also interview any doctors or other medical professionals who have treated you and ask for sworn statements describing your condition, limitations, and how your illness prevents you from working. They will also use a document called the Blue Book which lists the criteria for disabling conditions and compare that to your symptoms.