If a medical condition has left you unable to work and earn a living, you might be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Most disability claims are denied, and then an appeal must be filed.
After the second denial, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge, who will then decide your claim. Individuals who are represented by a disability advocate are much more likely to have their claim approved.
The SSA only consider you to be disabled if you cannot perform the work that you have done in the past, and you cannot be expected to take on a new job role that might be currently available. The SSA is very strict in its definitions of who is considered disabled and eligible to receive disability benefits.
Your disability advocate can help you from the start by filing your initial application for disability benefits. The key to a successful claim is providing thorough documentation and hard medical evidence, so your disability advocate will know what is needed to get your claim on the right track.
What Can a Disability Advocate Do?
Your disability advocate can help you file an appeal, which is called a Request for Reconsideration. Your advocate can also represent you in the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
If your claim is once again denied before the Administrative Law Judge, your advocate can represent you before the Social Security Appeals Council and if it is necessary, help you prepare your claim to go to Federal Court.
While a disability advocate is not an attorney, he or she has undergone special training and has certification, so they are familiar with the regulations and processes as they pertain to disability claims.
While you aren’t required to enlist the help of a disability attorney or a disability advocate during the appeals process while you are trying to be approved for disability benefits, having the help of a disability advocate can significantly improve your chances of being approved for disability benefits.
When you have a knowledgeable advocate working on your disability claim, you are much more likely to be approved for disability benefits.
Paying The Disability Advocate
The SSA has guidelines that limit the percentage of your backpay that the advocate can take as their payment for helping you with your claim. They will pay your advocate when your claim is approved, and you are awarded backpay.
Before they make a payment to the disability advocate, they will confirm that there was a legal and binding agreement made with the disability advocate to provide services to help you with your Social Security Disability claim.
If you are filing for disability benefits, you should schedule a free consultation with a disability advocate to determine the best way to proceed with your claim.
There are three ways to get your disability claim underway. You can call 1-800-772-1213 and talk with a SSA representative to start the process over the phone or you can call to schedule an appointment at your local SSA office. You can go online to www.ssa.gov to start your application online.
You can enlist the help of an advocate before you file your claim or after your claim has been denied.