There are many advantages to having an attorney represent you during the Social Security Disability application and appeals process. There are several ways that having a disability attorney represent you might speed up the process. While there is no fast-track for individuals who are represented by an attorney, attorneys know a few things that might be able to get a decision on your claim faster.
The fastest way to receive benefits is to receive approval based on your original application for Social Security disability benefits (rather than having to appeal the decision, which can take more than a year). An attorney or disability advocate's expertise in knowing what Social Security is looking for can help to increase your chances of winning at the initial application process. If you can find an attorney to represent you at this stage, the lawyer can:
However, an attorney will likely only take your case at this early stage if he or she thinks you have a good chance of winning.
If your original application is denied, the next fastest way to receive benefits is to have an "on the record" (OTR) decision. A Social Security disability attorney can:
If the OTR decision is denied, your case will then be sent to a hearing. If you are applying for SSI and you are in financial straights, an attorney can write a dire need letter for you, which can get your hearing date scheduled sooner.
At the hearing, a disability attorney can improve your chances of winning the appeal after the hearing, rather than having to go on to appeal to the Appeals Council. A disability lawyer can:
Learn more about how a disability lawyer can help you win your disability appeal.
While there are no magic ways by which to speed up your Social Security Disability benefits application, an attorney can help to increase your likelihood of being approved for benefits at the early stages, which will mean less time waiting to receive your benefits. You can use our disability lawyer locator to find a good attorney in your area.