Social Security does not require you to hire an attorney to assist you at your disability hearing. However, having an attorney will greatly improve your chances of winning your claim. Statistics show that represented parties are two (2) times more likely to win their claims at the hearing level than unrepresented parties.
Your disability lawyer can help do much of the leg work in preparing your case for the Administrative Law Judge. First, hiring a lawyer means that the lawyer will gather your medical records rather than you having to do that on your own. Your lawyer will also review your medical records and determine whether the records should be submitted to the Social Security Administration. This is important because it allows the attorney to determine whether your case needs additional medical evidence, whether any key test results or documentation are missing, and to spot important records to highlight at the hearing. Good disability lawyers will also prepare a brief highlighting the relevant medical evidence for the Administrative Law Judge to consider.
Your disability lawyer will also get opinions from your doctors to help prove your case to the Judge. Judges love to have medical source statements from a claimant’s treating physician. Your doctors are experts at your health and your abilities. Your lawyer can help these experts become advocates for your case.
A disability lawyer will help prepare you for questioning at the hearing. The disability lawyer knows the questions you will be asked at your hearing and can practice with you on how to answers these questions. This will have you better prepared and less nervous about what happens at the hearing.
A disability lawyer will also question the Vocational Expert at the hearing. The Vocational Expert is an expert on what jobs are available in the national economy. Disability lawyers are used to asking questions to Vocation Experts and are in a better position to make the Vocational Expert an advocate for your case.
These are just a few of the reasons why a disability lawyer greatly increases your chances of winning your disability case. The disability process is long, complicated and difficult. Without good representation, a person can easily become confused and overwhelmed by the process. So if you’re interested in applying for Social Security disability, hire a good disability lawyer to represent you.