Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for My Social Security Disability Appeal?

March 9, 2017

You are already aware of how complicated and time consuming it is to submit your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits. When your application for reconsideration was denied, the additional pressure of preparing for a hearing can feel incredibly daunting. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require you to have an attorney to represent you at a hearing, but here are a few reasons for you to consider about working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to represent you in your application for SSD benefits.

If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, the next level of appeal is a hearing with an administrative law judge. Just like in the reconsideration process, the ALJ will have had no role in the original decision of your case. If possible, the hearing will be held within 75 miles of your home, but there is also the option of participating in the hearing through video tele-conference if you are unable to travel to the office. A video conference will not always be an available option at every Social Security Administration hearing office, but when the option is available, your hearing might be able to be scheduled sooner than an in-person hearing.

The good news is, if you can get the chance to stand before an administrative law judge and present your case, you have a greater than 50 percent chance of having your claim approved. In Pennsylvania, the Disability Determination Service (DDS) hearing office average approval rate for appeals hearings is 56.1 percent, with the national average being about 50 percent.

Prior to the hearing, the SSA wants to see more evidence that supports your claim. If you are working with a SSD lawyer, you enjoy the benefit of their years of experience helping many clients before you prepare for an SSD hearing. While this might be your first time preparing for a SSD hearing, your attorney does this every day. They know what kinds of evidence the SSA wants to see before thay will approve your case. There is a certain way to present yourself and your case whether your hearing is in person or through a video teleconference. You will be nervous because of how much is at stake, but your attorney is handling the preparation and the strategy. Your job is to learn as much as you can about your case, listen to your attorney’s instructions and do what she or he tells you to do.

Working with a disability attorney increases your chances of getting approved simply because they know what they are doing. They know how to bypass the blunders that individuals who have no experience dealing with the SSA often make that can cost them precious time and money. Because they work on a contingency basis, you do not pay a SSD lawyer up-front for their services. They receive payment when you get approved for benefits. Your lawyer will get 25 percent of your disability back pay, or a flat fee of $6,000, whichever is less. Because they don’t get paid unless you win, this arrangement gives your attorney a bit of motivation to fight harder for you.

You took the tremendous time and effort to apply for SSD benefits and your application was denied. Now is the time to find an experienced Philadelphia SSD attorney who will represent your interests in your appeal. If you have questions for one of our experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, please contact us or call us at 888.PITT.LAW to schedule an appointment today at any of our office locations serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.