Q: When do most claimants hire a social security disability lawyer?
A: The most common time for a claimant to hire a social security disability lawyer is after he or she has applied and been denied Social Security benefits for the first time. It is often the case that initial claims that are denied will end up in the hearing phase. And having a social security disability lawyer represent your case in a hearing is extremely beneficial. If you have recently received notification that your initial claim was denied, your next step is to file to have your claim reconsidered. Whether you have hired a social security disability lawyer or not, it is important that you submit the appeal for reconsideration within the deadline of 60 days. Your claim is simply reviewed again during reconsideration like it was during the initial review stage. It is reviewed by an examiner assigned to only cases being reconsidered. Statistically, most claims being reconsidered will be denied. Claimants wishing to appeal after reconsideration will need to request a hearing. This appeal must be made within 60 days, as well. Although not required, having a social security disability lawyer represent your claim during this important last step can mean the difference between being awarded benefits or not. Most claims awarded benefits after a hearing have legal representation. You can hire a social security disability lawyer at at any point during the claim review process.
Q: Do you have a better chance if you apply for benefits in person?
A: How you apply for social security benefits has no bearing on whether you are awarded benefits or not. It is more and more common, in fact, for claimants to apply online via the official Social Security Administration web site. Making sure you have submitted all required documentation correctly and thoroughly, as well as provided all the necessary supporting evidence and medical records is much more important that how you apply.