Why Do I Need a Social Security Disability Attorney?

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on August 26, 2018

A woman filling out forms and using a calculatorSocial security disability insurance (SSD/SSDI) can help those unable to work due to injury or disability. Individuals need to apply to receive these benefits, and their claim must be approved by the Social Security Administration. This can be easier said than done since many claims for social security disability benefits are denied and require appeal.

The Provo, UT lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton have helped many people who were denied social security disability benefits and needed to go through the appeals process. We’d like to consider why an attorney is helpful for this process, and the benefits of seeking the aid of a lawyer when it comes to any kind of SSD matter.

Denial of Social Security Disability Claims

The majority of SSD claims are initially denied by the Social Security Administration. This may be due to improperly filled out forms, lack of medical documentation, or other issues. It’s been estimated that between 65 and 75 percent of SSD claims are initially denied, eventually being appealed before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

How an Attorney Can Help with Initial Claims

Working with an experienced SSD attorney can increase your chances of having your initial claim approved by the Social Security Administration. Some sources estimate that up to 30 percent of people who work with an attorney on their initial claim will be approved.

You’ll notice that even with that improvement in approval, there is still a large number of claims that will be denied and require appeal. This is when an attorney’s expertise will be especially helpful.

Administrative Law Judge Hearings

As noted above, the denial of an SSD claim can be appealed in a hearing before an administrative law judge. You will have 60 days following claim rejection to apply for an appeal.

During the actual hearing, the judge will explain issues with your SSD claim. You and any witnesses (such as doctors) will be able to provide testimony and answer questions for the judge. All testimony is provided under oath. Once the hearing is completed, the administrative law judge will review the evidence and proceed to issue a written decision.

How an Attorney Can Help with the Administrative Hearing

Having professional legal representation with you in an administrative law judge hearing can make a major difference. According to a piece on Nolo, 71 percent of people hired an attorney for their ALJ hearing. Of that number, 50 percent of claimants had their benefits approved, while just 23 percent of claimants did not. An attorney understands which witnesses would be best to appear in your hearing, and what kinds of questions should be asked to provide favorable testimony.

If the ALJ hearing does not go your way, further legal assistance will be crucial for a federal court hearing to receive your SSD benefits. At a federal court level, a social security lawyer will most certainly be essential.

Is a Social Security Disability Attorney Worth the Cost?

This will depend on the individual, but in most cases, yes, the assistance of a lawyer is worth the cost so that you can receive SSD. Many attorneys will only charge their fee if your case is successful. This is why it is so beneficial to you to consider speaking with an experience lawyer as you undergo this process.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer About Your Case

To learn more about your rights and options and how our legal team can help you, contact the lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns as they arise. You can also reach our law firm by calling (801) 370-0505.

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