The process of applying for benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) is often complex. To prove you are eligible for benefits, you may need to complete substantial paperwork, coordinate with doctors, gather medical evidence, appeal an initial denial, and more.
Luckily, this isn’t a process you have to navigate on your own. Help is available in a number of different forms. Best of all, much of this help may be free.
The Social Security Administration
Do not overlook the fact that the SSA can provide useful, low-cost or no-cost assistance to someone completing an application for benefits. Consider this when deciding how to apply for disability.
If you apply for benefits online, no one may be there to answer your questions or offer guidance if any step of the application process confuses you. However, if you apply in-person or over the phone, an SSA representative will be on hand to offer help if you need it.
The SSA’s website also offers free resources that may provide value during the application process. For example, through the SSA’s website, you can access the Blue Book, which lists and describes the various conditions that might qualify someone for benefits.
A disability advocate is a professional who may assist you with such tasks as:
- Completing paperwork
- Collecting evidence of your condition
- Handling all correspondence with the SSA on your behalf
A disability advocate will usually enter into a contingency fee agreement with someone they represent. This means their services are free upfront. Their fee will come from any back pay you receive if the SSA approves your claim.
In other words, a disability advocate’s services are completely free if they don’t succeed in securing benefits for you. The law also limits how much money a disability advocate can charge a client.
You may assume you can’t afford to hire an experienced legal professional when pursuing benefits. However, that might not be the case.
Many disability attorneys also enter into contingency fee agreements with their clients. Like a disability advocate, a disability lawyer might only charge for their services if the SSA approves your application. If you don’t get paid, your lawyer doesn’t get paid.
Other Free Help
Be aware that non-professionals may be able to help you apply for benefits with the SSA. For example, friends and family may assist you with this process. Additionally, if you already know someone who has applied for disability benefits in the past, their help could be particularly valuable.
Get Help With Your Disability Claim
It is worth noting that the SSA typically denies initial claims. To optimize your chances of receiving the benefits for which you may be eligible, you need the best help available.
This is one of many reasons to strongly consider working with a disability lawyer. Their expertise may boost your chances of receiving an approval when you file a claim. Additionally, while a lawyer is handling your claim, you can focus more on your health. To learn more about how a lawyer can assist you, take the Free Case Evaluation (form on this page) today.