As we have said before on this blog, filing for Social Security disability benefits is no easy endeavor. There is a lot of information you need to input and access to medical records that document the extent of your condition. Missing even one piece of information or making one small mistake could mean the difference between receiving benefits the first time you file and needing to appeal your claim later on.
The most confusing part of this process though is probably the fact that although you have the right to an attorney to help with your claim, the Social Security Administration says that it's not required. This puts many applicants in a sort of limbo and asking an important question: does a person need a lawyer when seeking disability benefits?
Although having a lawyer during the application process is not necessary, many people do consider them incredibly helpful. As you may already know, the laws surrounding disability claims can seem incredibly complex if you do not have a general understanding of the law or a legal background of some kind. This can lead to mistakes that can be averted with the help of a lawyer.
An attorney is also incredibly helpful in the event that a claim is denied and you need to appeal too. At this stage in the process, a claim is heard directly by an administrative law judge who listens to the applicant's testimony and makes a decision about benefits. Because most people aren't comfortable making the type of speech necessary to persuade a judge to award benefits, a lawyer may be needed. Attorneys are typically quite comfortable speaking in front of a judge and can help you make the most effective argument possible.
So whether you're starting the process or ready for an appeal, it's worth noting that a lawyer may be important in your particular case, especially if you have concerns about accessing the benefits you deserve.