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Do You Need An Represenatative If You Want To Apply For Disability?

If you are about to apply for disability, one of the first questions you may have is if you need an representative to present your case to the Social Security Administration.

The short answer is no. You can do all the paperwork yourself and present it to the administration.

But here is a better question. “Will an representative improve my chances of receiving benefits?’ That answer is yes.

More than 70% of the initial requests for disability are denied. The next step is to file for reconsideration which are also typically denied. Then you need to file a request for a hearing and that usually takes about 18 months or more before your case is heard. At this stage, people who are represented by representative are more likely to win their case than those who are not represented by legal counsel.

Facing such a long, complicated and stressful process alone is a daunting challenge for the inexperienced. Once you get to the hearing after that long of a wait, you will want to make sure you present the best case possible.

The most critical evidence that will be presented on your behalf will be you medical records. An representative will know if your medical records need to be updated before you see a judge. They will also assist in getting any additional records so your case can be presented in the most positive light. Whatever records you produce will be used by the judge to create questions for a vocational expert hired by the Social Security Administration. This expert will testify about how your medical condition and how it impacts your ability to do your job.

Of course, a big part of your representative’s job is to prepare you for questioning. The judge has probably seen your type of case many times and may have tough, probing questions. You want somebody in your corner who knows the types of questions that will be asked and will help you formulate the best answers.

After the vocational expert has given their testimony a cross examination is allowed. This is another critical part of the process.

An Representative. who has handled your type of case before and knows what questions to ask can be critical to your success. Of course, representatives spend many years learning the nuances of presenting evidence and doing cross examinations. An representative will also know how to handle any weaknesses in your case and how to present the strengths of your case most favorably.

These are only a few of the advantages of having an representative represent you. There are many more. Your livelihood may be at stake and while it is technically possible to do it alone, it is best to have experienced counsel in your corner.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start receiving benefits. Give us a call today for a free consultation so we can assist you in getting the disability benefits you deserve.

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