Should I Use a Social Security Attorney or Social Security Advocate?Should I Use a Social Security Attorney or Social Security Advocate?

You have decided to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but you may be unsure of the best way to tackle the challenging process. Unfortunately, the outlook is not too encouraging for first-time applicants: around two-thirds of all initial applicants are denied benefits.

Do not worry — experienced assistance is available. A Social Security disability attorney can help you navigate your way to benefits by explaining every step and assisting you in gathering all of the information you need to present a valid claim. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, a skilled Social Security disability attorney can guide you through the appeals process and keep you informed of your rights and responsibilities.

There are also Social Security disability advocates (referred to as non-attorney claimant’s representatives), appointed by the federal government, who are available to help you with your claim. Social Security Advocates are not attorneys, and their experience and backgrounds may not offer you the same type of representation or personal attention a disability lawyer can provide.Here is another point to consider. When you are going to a hearing, your application has already been denied by the Administration and the Administration will be providing witnesses who will testify to try to keep your claim denied. Do you really want an Administration employee helping you when they are the very ones denying your claim to start with?

You also have the option of finding and hiring a non-lawyer representative on your own. Although these advocates can assist you in gathering paperwork and in filling out the applications, they cannot represent you in court. Typically they do not have law degrees nor do they have court experience. Only a lawyer can represent you before a Federal District Judge.

Here are a few key reasons why choosing a Social Security attorney may give you the best chance at winning the benefits you are seeking.

  • If your claim is denied and reaches the hearing level, a  Social Security disability attorney with a strong legal background in Social Security law can be integral in representing you in front of an Administrative Law judge.
  • A Social Security disability attorney is legally forbidden from charging a fee until the SSDI claim is won. After an approval is granted, a percentage of your initial benefits payment may be used to pay your attorney. A Social Security disability lawyer's fee is identical to the amount charged by a non-lawyer representative using the allowable fee schedule set by the SSA.
  • Social Security disability attorneys have spent years representing disabled workers and speaking on their behalf. This level of expertise, experience, and familiarity with Social Security laws can greatly outweigh the qualifications of some Social Security disability advocates.
  • A disability lawyer can save you time and stress by spending hours preparing you for any obstacles that may arise with your claim.
  • A non-attorney disability advocate may not have the time or resources necessary to take care of your needs in a one-on-one, personalized format.
  • A Social Security disability lawyer can improve your chances of winning an approval by helping you gather evidence, document medical details, and complete all the necessary requirements.

Before you hire a non-lawyer representative or Social Security disability advocate, talk to the skilled legal professionals at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers for in-depth information about the SSDI process and your rights. Please contact our Social Security disability attorneys today to set up a complimentary disability claim review. Fill out the form on this page now to start the process.


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