There are four levels of the Social Security (SS) disability appeals process, and you don’t need an attorney to file your claim at any of these levels except the last one—if you take your case to the Federal District court. Only a licensed lawyer can take your appeal to this level.

lawyer to help with denied SS claimA Government Accounting Office study found that those who use a representative, such as an attorney, are three times more likely to get benefits. That is why it is wise to hire an experienced SS disability attorney before you even file a disability claim with the SS. A disability attorney can make the process easier, and you’ll have a greater chance of receiving an approved claim.

Hire an Attorney Early 

Although you don’t need an attorney to file an appeal for your SS claim, the appeals process can get difficult and complicated.

If you work with a lawyer before you start the appeals process, it can be extremely helpful for the following reasons:

  • An attorney explains the type of medical evidence the SS wants about your specific medical illness, disease, or condition. This ensures the medical information in your file is the right information at the start. If the SS approves your initial application, it could save months or even years of waiting for a final decision.
  • An attorney can determine if you have the appropriate information to help your claim. If not, your lawyer can talk to your doctors and ask that they help provide the right tests and include statements about your limitations to help your case.
  • An attorney can develop your case and prepare for a hearing if that becomes necessary. They can thoroughly research your situation to better explain your disability and how it has impacted your life.
  • An attorney can give you a better chance of winning your claim. Approximately 70 percent of initial SS claims are denied. Statistically, applicants who have legal representation when pursuing an appeal are more likely to receive benefits from the SS than those who represent themselves.
  • An attorney ensures you receive a fair hearing and receive all appropriate, fair, and lawful questions that should be asked during the appeals process.
  • An attorney ensures all your forms are submitted at the right time and to the proper place and include all the necessary information.
  • An attorney explains the appeals process to you, the steps that need to be taken, and clarifies what can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Having an expert who’s been through this process many times gives you a better chance of creating a strong, compelling claim and getting it approved.
  • An attorney makes the process easier. The SS disability system received over 2.7 million applications for benefits in 2015 alone. When you hire a lawyer early on, you won’t have to wait in long lines or on hold to talk to a SS worker about your claim. Your lawyer handles all of the paperwork and communication. Additionally, an attorney gathers all the forms necessary with the application—nearly 40 pages. If you’re in poor health or are unable to work, this can be a difficult task.

Call Cuddigan Law

If you need help appealing a denied SS disability claim, or you want to begin the process of applying for disability, it’s best to hire a skilled attorney who is well-versed in disability law.

The attorneys at Cuddigan Law can help. We’ve assisted thousands of clients, filling out their paperwork, collecting their medical records, calling doctors, and managing their needs through all levels of the appeals process. Contact us for a free evaluation, and we’ll review your case and let you know how we can increase your chances of receiving an approval on your appeal.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska