Will hiring an attorney to help with your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim speed things up?
Not one bit.
The sobering reality is that it can take months to get through the initial claims process. For most people, that process ends in a denial. That leads to a longer wait while the claim is reconsidered. If that, too, ends in a denial, you can be sitting around waiting for more months — or longer — on your date for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).
Everything works according to the government’s clock, and hiring an attorney won’t make the hands on that clock move any faster.
So, why hire an attorney to help with your claim? Here’s why:
- An attorney can make sure that your application doesn’t have any gaps. Missing information can be fatal to a claim.
- Your attorney can help collect evidence in support of your claim. One of the common problems claimants face is that their medical records somehow never make it to the claims examiner’s desk. Your attorney can help track down missing reports — and may even suggest what type of further diagnostic testing you may need.
- Your attorney can organize your file in a way that SSA will understand. Claims examiners have big workloads. If the information in your file isn’t presented in an orderly fashion that clearly illustrates how you meet the criteria for SSD or SSI, your claim can be wrongfully denied.
- An attorney can serve as your point of contact with the agency. It can be difficult to stay on top of your claim — but failing to do so can dramatically hurt your chances of approval. Your attorney can make sure that you never miss any calls or letters from the agency.
If you have a claim for disability pending with the Social Security Administration and have already been denied at least once, it may be high time to find an experienced advocate who can fully protect your interests.