The process of applying and getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be complicated. If you are not able to perform the work tasks of your job and have to resign, you might qualify for a monthly payment. Unfortunately, the application and appeal process intimidates many would-be applicants. You are far from without help, however. As long as you make the right choice when it comes to getting that help, you will find your application and appeal experience far easier and more successful. Read on to find out more.
Social Security Disability Advocates
This service offers help for SSDI applicants as they fill out their application. The application for SSDI benefits can be several pages long and it can be a challenge for some. The importance of filling the application out accurately and completely cannot be overstated and errors and omissions may lead to being turned down no matter how much you need benefits. Here is what else to know about disability advocates:
- They are not affiliated with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in any way.
- The service is not free of charge and the fee is based on your back pay award. If you hire an advocate, pay attention to the terms of the agreement and the fee charged.
- The SSA does oversee and approve of advocates and they must pass a background check, prove they have Social Security experience or a bachelor's degree, and have liability insurance.
Get Legal Help Instead
It would be a mistake to turn to a disability advocate when there is a better choice. Social Security lawyers have been working alongside the SSA for many years to help people get approved for benefits. What a lawyer can do far surpasses what an advocate can do and you will likely pay no more for their services than you would an advocate. Here is what else to know about Social Security lawyers:
- Lawyers assist applicants with not only their applications but also their appeal. Since many applicants get turned down on their initial application, proving your case at an appeal is necessary before you can get benefits. Having a legal professional on your side at the hearing can mean expert help citing case law, cross-examining the vocational expert, and proving why you deserve benefits.
- Lawyers are required to have many years of education – far beyond that of an advocate.
- Their experience means knowing what the SSA expects and needs to see in an application.
- They are skilled at procuring needed medical records to prove your medical condition.
If you need help, it only makes sense to speak to a lawyer rather than an advocate for help winning your benefits.