Should I Get Help When Applying for SSDI?
You are not required to have disability representation when applying for Social Security disability benefits. However, people who apply for SSDI on their own quickly realize that it is not easy. Statistics show that people who have representation for their Social Security disability claims have a greater chance of being awarded benefits than people who go it alone. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has many rules and regulations; the claims are very long, complex and can be confusing and overwhelming. The SSA wants to be certain that a person is truly disabled before awarding them benefits. For this reason, they have created a decision process that must be strictly followed. When you don’t fully understand the process and what the SSA expects when you apply for SSDI, you can cost yourself a lot of time and frustration. There are several methods for approaching your SSDI claim and winning, including filing on your own. Similarly, there are many ways, or factors, that can cause you to lose your SSDI claim. Trying to win your SSDI claim on your own is extremely difficult, and the chances of losing increase significantly when you’re on your own. A professional disability representative or attorney can help you through the complex SSDI process. It is not recommended that you apply for Social Security disability benefits on your own. Many people with disabilities will attempt to complete the initial application process on their own, however, two-thirds of those claims will be denied. The application requires extremely detailed answers, and claimants may fail to complete it appropriately. Claimants may fail to have all of the necessary paperwork, don’t have enough medical evidence to support their claim, or don’t offer enough details to prove that their medical condition really interferes with their daily life and prevents them from working. If you aren’t awarded benefits with your first SSDI application, all is not lost. You can appeal the decision. However, the disability appeal process is very long and can significantly delay the receipt of your much-needed benefits. SSA rules allow you to hire representation to assist you with your SSDI claim. Most representatives work on a contingent fee basis, meaning that if you don’t get awarded your disability benefits, then you don’t have to pay for the representation. Usually, there are no upfront fees. Often, when you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, there is some back pay that you receive, also known as a lump-sum payment; the representative will be paid from that money. Then, once your monthly SSDI benefits begin, that money goes directly to you.
No matter which level of the Social Security disability process you are in, or even if you are just considering filing a disability claim, it is recommended that you have representation. Having a disability representative or advocate on your side will give you the best chance of being awarded Social Security disability benefits.