Do I Need Disability Representation?
It’s hard to watch TV nowadays without sitting through a commercial or two trying to convince you that you need a lawyer’s or an advocate’s help to file a successful Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim. But if you’re planning to file a claim, do you really need representation?
The short answer is, no, you don’t. The average person is more than capable of filing a claim by visiting the local Social Security office, by applying toll-free at 800-772-1213 (TDY 1-80325-0778), or by applying online here. You don’t need anyone to do that for you.
You need to be aware, however, that many individuals encounter serious difficulties in applying for and receiving disability benefits. Typically, they encounter long waiting periods only to learn their claims are denied. They may submit documentation showing eligibility for SSDI only to learn they’ve overlooked a minor detail or two that can lead to outright denial or another lengthy waiting period. The fact is, over 60% of SSDI claims are denied, and the waiting periods for hearings and appeals can cause severe hardship to disabled persons in need of SSDI. This, of course, underscores the importance of getting every detail in your SSDI application correct and presenting clear documentary evidence of your disability and inability to work.
Having representation with a proven track record when it comes to SSDI claims and appeals can certainly work in your favor. On the other hand, having representation without top knowledge and successful experience in disability cases may not help at all. If you decide in favor of representation, you’ll definitely want to ask some hard questions in order to determine you’re getting representation that’s likely to help your case.
If you’re confident in your ability to follow instructions carefully and to provide every bit of documentation you’re required to submit with your application, you may well decide to proceed without representation after consulting www.ssa.gov.
There are four steps to the appeals process.
- Reconsideration is a simple review of your claim, allowing you the option of submitting new information or documentation.
- The next step, if necessary, involves a hearing by an administrative law judge.
- Next, if necessary, is consideration by the Social Security Appeals Council. Finally, after the other steps have been exhausted, you have the right to file a lawsuit in Federal Court.
- The final step is the only one requiring you to use an attorney. It’s unlikely your case will get that far, but if it does, you’ll need representation.
Even if your claim is denied, you can proceed with an appeal, without representation, by clicking here. By this point you’ll probably want to consider representation, but it is not required.
Making an informed decision is always the best thing you can do. Click here for a free SSDI evaluation to help determine where you stand. If you’d like more information about Social Security Disability, a qualified MedicareMall agent will be happy to answer your questions. We’ll also be glad to answer any questions you may have about Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, or Medigap plans.
Contact MedicareMall now and we’ll make it our priority to help you make the best-informed decisions possible.