How can an attorney help me appeal my Social Security benefits?
UPDATED: August 23, 2012
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A social security attorney can be in invaluable resource for anyone appealing a denial of social security benefits. These attorneys have a set of legal skills and experience in the areas of law that pertain specifically to raising appeals and winning them.
The Nature of Social Security Claim Appeals
Appeals to government decisions are not like regular appeals in your local small claims court or your local district court. Social security claim appeals have very specific procedural requirements. Navigating these procedures successfully can be an almost-impossible task, especially during such a difficult and stressful time as when applying for disability. However, a licensed, experienced social security lawyer is already an expert in all of these processes. The government has social security lawyers working for them already; having one in your corner can give you the edge you need to file a successful appeal.
Handling Your Social Security Appeal
The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows applicants to handle their appeals by themselves or with the help of a representative. You can appoint anyone you wish to be your representative, including friends or relatives. However, many people choose to hire social security attorneys to fill this role. The reason for this is that your representative in this appeal is much like your representative in a court of law. S/he will be able to serve as your “right arm,” working entirely for your interests, and on your behalf for most issues. If you have a debilitating condition, you can expect having a representative who is proficient at these issues to be an enormous relief.
Getting Help from a Social Security Lawyer
The Social Security Administration will provide you with a written decision regarding eligibility for Social Security or SSI benefits. If you do not agree with the decision, you have a right of appeal. Your appeal may be presented to an Administrative Law Judge who regularly handles these matters and is generally familiar with social security and its eligibility rules.
In going forward with your appeal to an adverse decision, you should seriously consider being represented by a qualified person of your choice. An attorney who practices in the field of social security benefits and appeals will be a valuable resource for you, and help ensure that you have the greatest chance of winning your appeal.