18 Aug Do I Need an Attorney to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits?
When you become unable to work and realize you may need to file for Social Security disability benefits, feelings of angst and confusion are common. After all, most people have little or no prior experience in dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA) or any government agency – other than, perhaps, the Internal Revenue Service. So when faced with the prospect of completing paperwork and speaking with a government official, some disability applicants may feel they must have legal assistance with them. Others may be self-confident and feel that no one can represent their interests as well as they can themselves. Regardless of how one feels, however, the question remains: must you be represented by an attorney in order to file for disability benefits?
You Do Not Need an Attorney to Represent You to Obtain Disability Benefits
The Social Security law and regulations give you the option to be represented by an attorney or by someone else who handles your claim on your behalf. However, you are not required to actually have someone represent you in order to file for disability benefits. If you do want someone to represent you, you can have either an attorney or a personal representative (i.e., family member) do so. This representative or attorney would then be a liaison between you and the Administration and would work on your behalf as your claim is processed.
Why You Might Want to Consider an Attorney’s Help
Just because you can “go it alone” and file for disability benefits yourself does not mean you should. Even having a friend or family member serve as your representative may not be a good idea and can in fact result in an increased amount of time between the time you actually file for benefits and the time you begin to receive them. Here are some reasons why you may want to hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney for help with your claim:
- They know the process of obtaining benefits for their clients and will be familiar with what records you must collect and present. This streamlines the process as you will not have to wait for the Administration to tell you what documents they need
- They know the changes to the law that occurs frequently. A little-publicized change may mean your application must go to a new office or include a new document. Social Security disability attorneys will be familiar with these changes, saving you time and money
- You may not need to pay up front if your attorney’s compensation will come from the benefits he or she obtains on your behalf. One of the reasons people may avoid hiring an attorney is because they believe they cannot afford an attorney’s fees
At Klok Law Firm, we are devoted to helping our Social Security disability clients obtain benefits quickly. We strive to be a value for our clients, helping alleviate stress and anxiety they might otherwise experience through educating them about the disability process, keeping them informed at every step along the way, and helping them get their claims approved even if they were initially denied. Learn how we can help you in your Social Security disability claim by contacting us at (843) 216-8860 and scheduling a free initial consultation.