If you are one of the many applicants whose claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits was denied, don’t give up hope; many initial applications for SSDI benefits are denied, often because the applicant failed to supply the necessary evidence to back up their claim. A good way to be successful with your appeal is to get some help from someone familiar with the process.
Fortunately, there are many options available when it comes to finding qualified help with a Social Security disability benefits appeal. Of course, you can go it alone. You can seek help from a non-attorney Social Security disability advocate. Or, you can hire an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability benefits. What are the differences? Which one is right for you?
You can go it alone. The Social Security Administration does not require you to have a representative to apply for benefits or appeal a denial. However, appealing SSDI disability benefits denials can be a complicated process. You may believe you can figure it out, but are you certain enough to risk not winning your appeal?
Non-Attorney SSDI Advocates
You can seek help from a non-attorney SSDI advocate. There are a number of firms around the country that offer to assist individuals with their SSDI claims. These firms are usually staffed by paralegals who have special training in the SSDI application and appeals process. They can be helpful but are limited in their capabilities to assist you beyond the claim forms and documentation. Since they are not attorneys, they cannot appeal your case to federal court.
A Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney
What about a Social Security disability benefits attorney? If you had your choice (and you do!), the services of an experienced, board-certified Social Security disability benefits attorney would be the best option to fully represent your interests. But hiring an attorney is too expensive, right?
No! A lot of people don’t know this, but the fees set by the SSA are the same for both attorneys and non-attorneys. Whether you hire an SSDI attorney or a non-attorney representative, you will only have to pay them 25% of your back benefits up to a $6,000 cap. In addition, both are required to work on “contingency,” which means they only get paid if you win your case.
Now that you know that, the attorney option is starting to look a lot better, right? Here are some advantages to hiring an SSDI attorney as opposed to a non-attorney-advocate:
- Attorneys have more training than non-attorney advocates. An SSDI attorney has a degree in law and has passed the bar exam.
- Attorneys are bound by the ethical rules of the legal profession and are subject to the discipline of the courts and bar authorities.
- They can interpret the law and effectively represent you in hearings.
- You are protected by attorney client privilege.
- If your claim is denied during the administrative appeal, your last resort will be an appeal to the federal courts. Non-attorney Social Security advocates or representatives cannot appeal denied SSDI claims to federal court.
- Statistically, being represented by an SSDI benefits attorney greatly increases your chances of success.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Nationwide Board-Certified Social Security Attorney
When selecting an attorney to handle your case, it’s important to select one who works specifically with Social Security disability law rather than a general practice attorney who lacks the particular expertise, time and resources to appeal your claim.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a board-certified Houston SSDI benefits attorney who has been helping individuals with disabilities get the benefits they deserve for over 25 years. He has the experience, skills, and accreditations you’ll need to take on the Social Security Administration’s red tape and bureaucracy and win.
Call us today at (713) 993-7311 for a free case.