Can I Apply for Benefits Without an Attorney?
You may have been told that you do not need an attorney. That all you have to do is tell the judge or case worker about your situation and you will be approved for benefits. This is not true. Even those who are so obviously and completely disabled have had their claims repeatedly denied by the Social Security Administration. If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits despite having a physical or mental condition that makes you unable to work, you’re probably feeling some mix of anger and confusion. You should immediately call an attorney to help you assess your options before you miss any deadlines.
Should I Appeal My Denial?
Yes! It is a fact that within the Social Security disability system, 65 percent of people who apply for benefits will have their initial application denied. Those who appeal this denial through at least the hearing stage are approved 55 percent of the time.
There are a number of reasons why this may be. Social Security decision-makers may not have had a complete copy of your medical records when they first considered your case. They also will not have had an opportunity to meet with you in person and ask you about how your disability affects your life. Very few disability cases are won on the basis of medical records alone, because it is not your doctor’s diagnosis that qualifies you for benefits, but how your disability limits your ability to work.
Do I Need a Disability Attorney?
Yes! If your application is denied, it is extremely critical to have a disability attorney help with your appeal. Government statistics show that disability claimants who have an attorney representing them on appeal are three times as likely to be awarded disability benefits as those who do not.
The Social Security disability system is confusing, and their rules sometimes defy common sense. Claimants often focus on things that are not relevant to the Social Security Administration’s decision and this could prove fatal to your case.
Similarly, a doctor’s opinion on your medical condition can be valuable, but few doctors are Social Security experts, and their testimony may end up doing more harm than good without an attorney to tell them what information the Social Security Administration needs to find you disabled.
Should I hire an Attorney rather than a Non-Attorney?
Of course! You might be considering having a non-attorney assist you in your fight for benefits. This can be a very costly mistake. No one but an attorney has had the extensive, grueling 3 year legal education in fighting for the rights of clients. Attorneys are trained and tested advocates, not just people who help you fill out forms. When you have an attorney on your side, the Administration knows you mean business and will think twice about denying you your Disability benefits.
Be careful when hiring a non-attorney, often they will leave you and disassociate from your matter when you have been denied and will have to have a hearing on your case to get any benefits. You will then have to go it alone or hope that an attorney will take your case. Many attorneys will not take on a case that has been poorly handled and be expected to jump in and correct the mistakes of the non-attorney.
What is the difference in Cost of Hiring an Attorney rather than a Non-Attorney?
None! This law office charges the same as Non-Attorneys and the same as other attorneys. We take your Social Security Disability case on a contingent attorney fee basis. We do not get paid unless you do. And if we win your case for you, you only have to pay from your back benefits and nothing from your pocket. And even then it is only the lesser of 25% of your back benefits or $6,000. You will not have to pay anything from your future benefits. While there is no difference in cost to hire an actual Attorney, the risk in not hiring one early in your matter can be more than you can afford to take.
If you have been denied disability benefits in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, including Concord, Kannapolis, and Gastonia, Social Security disability attorney Cheryl Watkins will be able to help. Please call (704) 552-3993 for a free evaluation of your claim.