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SSDI Law Firm Information

If you’re considering filing a SSD claim, you may be wondering if you should hire a lawyer. Most disability claimants think they can’t afford a lawyer. A SSDI law firm can only charge you if Social Security approves you for benefits. (The fee can be no more than 25% of your back pay, up to a maximum of $6,000.)

Should You Hire A Social Security Disability Lawyer or Go It Alone?

Statistically, the vast majority of Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSD) and SSI claims are denied initially. Most SSDI and SSI claims will need to go to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. That is before a claimant can hope to receive disability benefits. It is at the level of an ALJ hearing that having a disability attorney can really help win a claim. While a disability attorney or non-attorney representative can’t guarantee that a claimant will be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, a Social Security lawyer can guarantee that a case will be properly “developed” prior to a hearing date.

Developing A Disability Case

The simple fact is most SSDI claimants will have no idea how to prepare a disability case for a hearing. Whereas an attorney advocate or representative has a high level of familiarity and expertise with Social Security rules and regulations. An attorney should have several years of invaluable SSDI and SSI claim experience.

Disability attorneys get paid on contingency.They are motivated to win and do anything to ensure that a claim will have the best chance of winning. This includes tracking down important medical records and test results. As well as obtaining detailed statements from a claimant’s treating physicians, and applying a thorough understanding of SSA regulations and prior rulings to the disability adjudication process.

The Chances Of Winning Without Legal Help

Can a disability claimant with no attorney still win an SSDI claim at an ALJ hearing? Yes, it is possible. However, the odds of winning a disability claim before an ALJ are markedly decreased when a claimant does not bring an attorney or representative to the hearing.

We recently asked readers across the U.S. who attended an ALJ hearing. We found that 71% of them hired a lawyer for the hearing. (For more statistics, see our article on the difference a lawyer makes.) Weigh the risk of going unrepresented to a hearing when your future livelihood is literally at stake. Particularly when it takes so long to get to a disability hearing in the first place—with the percentage of your backpay that you’ll have to pay an attorney or representative, if you win. (We also have statistics on the average amount readers paid to their disability lawyers.)

Attending a hearing before a judge without the assistance of a disability attorney or non-attorney representative can result in a lost opportunity to win disability benefits. (Here’s why.)

Lawyers And Representatives Can Win You More Back Pay

The claimants who win their claims without the help of a lawyer may not obtain the most favorable “disability onset date”. which affects how much backpay they get. The date of onset of the disability determines how much a claimant will receive in backpay; therefore, being able to prove the earliest possible onset is of extreme importance for a Social Security disability or SSI claimant.