An individual wishing to file for Social Security disability benefits has the option to do so themselves (this would be called “pro se”) or hire an attorney to represent them throughout the process. There are several reasons why hiring an attorney may be helpful to your case. To start, an attorney or experienced law firm will help you navigate the application process. This means they will let you know what necessary information and forms are needed at the initial stages. Secondly, when once your application is in, they will ensure your case proceeds through the lengthy process including any medical record requests and denials. For example, majority of cases get denied at initial and reconsideration levels. An attorney will ensure these denials are appealed on time, and they will request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Finally, as noted, majority of cases will go to hearing before an administrative law judge. Thus, it is important to note that the Social Security Act and its corresponding regulations are complex area of law so having an attorney at your Social Security disability hearing is wise. Although the hearing process is informal, an attorney understands the laws, the hearing process, and often has worked with the judge who presiding over your case. Prior to the hearing, an attorney will work with you to prep you to ensure you understand the hearing process and what sorts of questions may be asked. At the hearing, an attorney may need to explain a specific law or regulation to the judge that may be relevant in your specific case. An attorney will also have an opportunity to question you to better present the relevant issues in your case. Lastly, an attorney will be able to cross examine the medical expert and/or the vocational expert present at the hearing. An attorney will be able to spot any problems and legal issues in testimony. Overall, there are many pros to hiring an experienced law firm to represent you in your Social Security case.
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