While you don’t need an attorney to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, there are many potential benefits to obtaining outside counsel. For instance, you’ll have someone who can fill out paperwork and make sure that it is submitted in a timely manner. You’ll also have someone available to gather and organize evidence and take other steps to improve your odds of getting the financial assistance that you need.
File an appeal instead of a new case
Perhaps the biggest mistake that people make after their Social Security Disability applications are denied is to file a new initial request for SSD benefits. Unless your circumstances have changed since your first application was filed, any subsequent request will also likely be denied. What you want to do is file an appeal that will also likely be denied. However, you can now take your case to court in such a scenario.
Representation matters in court
Research suggests that you have a better chance of obtaining benefits after a hearing if you have an experienced SSD advocate representing your interests during the appeal. This is partially because your representative will know what types of questions to ask and what evidence to introduce during the hearing.
The types of evidence needed to obtain benefits
To obtain benefits, you’ll need to show that you have a medical or physical ailment that prevents you from working and won’t get better in the near future. You will likely need to submit to a medical examination as part of the application process, and other evidence such as witness statements or a doctor’s note can be used to bolster your case.
Obtaining SSD benefits may make it easier to buy food, pay rent or handle other basic living expenses. You may be allowed to work or earn money on a limited basis while receiving benefits, and you may be entitled to retroactive payments based on when you were actually injured.