Hire an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney
A disabled individual applying for Social Security Disability has these choices for representation: (1) represent himself/herself, (2) hire a non-attorney representative or (3) hire an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney.
Representing yourself in a Social Security Disability case is possible but difficult. The Social Security Administration has an army of claims examiners, physicians and attorneys ready, willing and able to deny your claim. Moreover, you will be totally unfamiliar with Social Security claim procedures. Should you have to go before an Administrative Law Judge, as many cases do, you will have to present evidence and cross-examine physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and vocational experts who will be called to testify in your case. In short, representing yourself is a mistake.
Some claimants hire non-attorney representatives. The fee allowed to be charged by a non-lawyer representative is the same as that charged by a lawyer.
If the feee is the same, why not hire an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer? Indeed, a lawyer has completed a Bachelor's degree and three years of law school. A lawyer has had specific training in civil procedure, presentation of evidence and direct and cross-examinations of witnesses. A lawyer has participated in trials and has made opening statements and closing arguments.
An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer has the specific training and education to do the following:
- Review your claim and medical records to determine the best theory to win your case
- Review your file to reopen prior applications to get an earlier on set date and/or larger retroactive check
- Send appropriate Residual Functional Capacity Forms to treating doctors to establish disability
- Suggest appropriate testing to be done by treating doctors to establish disability
- Prepare you for your hearing by explaining the issues and types of questions you may be asked
- Determine what witnesses should testify
- Support medical records with up-to-date records and opinions
- Object to improper evidence or procedures
- Make clear and concise opening statement to explain the issues to the Administrative Law Judge
- Engage in pre-hearing discussions with Administrative Law Judge
- Conduct your direct examination or supplement the direct examination conducted by the Administrative Law Judge
- Cross-examine medical experts called to testify by the Administrative Law Judge. Effective cross-examination is critical because it establishes the disability which will be used to cross-examine any Vocational Expert
- Cross-examine the Vocational Expert to establish that based on the medical evidence for your age, level of education and experience, there are no jobs available which you can do
- Make an effective closing argument pointing out written evidence in your file and testimony which establishes you are disabled
- Review and object to written questions sent to medical experts after your hearing
- Review and object to written questions sent to vocational experts after your hearing
- Review your Hearing Decision for accuracy and, if necessary, appeal
The choice is clear; hire an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer.