Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance is a complex process, but many people choose to go it alone regardless. Others understand the benefits of having a more experienced hand help them with the process, but do not see the need to hire an attorney, preferring to use a non-attorney “advocate.” While the potential desire to save some money in the short-term by relying on one of these options is understandable, there are a variety of benefits that can only be found by going to a full-fledged attorney for help with a Social Security Disability application.
Compared to Going Alone
There are several clear benefits to a person’s hiring an attorney to help them with their Social Security Disability application, rather than trying to fill the whole thing out on their own. The clearest one of these is experience. Attorneys have seen these forms and been through this process before. They know the right way to fill things out, the right information to put down, and how best to present the case. This is especially important because, according to statistics compiled by the Social Security Administration, hundreds of thousands of applications are denied each year for technical reasons that have nothing to do with whether a person actually qualifies for disability payments.
Of course, many applications are denied on the first try regardless. This leads to one of the other major benefits of an attorney, an understanding of the appeals process. Appealing a denied claim involves a variety of complex forms and strict deadlines. While the information on how to fill out these forms is publicly available, the research can be difficult and missteps can be costly. Having an attorney who already knows the process available to take care of it can help ensure that things run more smoothly.
Compared to Hiring a Non-Attorney
Yes, experience with the system and knowledge of the process are benefits that come with a non-attorney advocate as well, so it is important for people weighing their options to understand what sets an attorney apart. One of the biggest benefits to hiring an attorney is that attorneys are allowed to represent other people in the court system. Depending on the path that a person’s Social Security Disability application takes, it may require an actual lawsuit in federal court. While it would be possible to hire an attorney then, hiring one at the start insures that the attorney will be familiar with the history of the case, a key factor in making a compelling presentation to the court.
Additionally, attorneys are bound by strict ethical standards that non-attorney advocates are not. These ethical standards include a built-in system for reporting lapses to the local bar association, which has the authority to punish attorneys. These ethical standards also ensure strict confidentiality for the case, since lawyers have an obligation to keep these things private.
If you are going to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and want to learn more about how hiring an attorney can help make the process easier, contact a Columbus Social Security Disability attorney at the Law Office of Mike Gertner today.