6.1 Do Advocates Help?
Do Disability Advocates Help?
Does getting an attorney improve my chances on winning?
July 2013 – Tim Carpenter, Esq.
The answer to this is almost always an emphatic “YES!”
There is an old saying when it comes to getting an attorney or not for any client in any legal situation – “A person who represents himself or herself has a fool for a client.”
This is not to state any Social Security disability claimant who does not have a lawyer (called Pro Per in legal jargon) is a fool. There are many factors why a claimant would not get an attorney. A claimant may have a severe terminal disorder where the claim will almost always be granted prior to a hearing. Another is simple economics where the claimant wants to retain all the back due benefits.
But in most situations where economics is not a major concern (they can afford the minimal sum of 25 percent of the back due benefits), there is a simple question to any claimant – “Why go at it alone?”
Probably the simplest explanation why an attorney improves your chances is the Social Security disability system is designed to deny most claimants. The majority of claimants must appeal to a hearing ALJ to gain disability. The national approval rate is around 46 percent at the ALJ hearing level. The national average case processing time is 368 days and the average hearing time wait is 11.7 months. Allsup claims about 65% of initial social disability claims are denied, 87% of appeals after the first denial are denied, and 62% of second appeals (at the hearing) are awarded to the applicant. So when the statistics are already stacked against a claimant, a claimant needs all the help they can get. This is where an experienced Social Security disability attorney comes in.
It is hard to quantify exactly how an attorney improves your chances. Prior to the hearing, an attorney and the firm help with numerous tasks, such as collecting medical records and meeting deadlines. At the hearing, the need for an attorney is essential. An attorney prepares the client to elicit effective testimony. An attorney prepares to cross examine experts, such as vocational and medical experts. And an attorney should make a claimant feel comfortable at the hearing knowing someone is going to battle with them in the hearing.
The bottom line is NO attorney can guarantee a claimant will gain Social Security disability benefits. Any attorney who claims they can guarantee benefits is just being boastful. But getting an experienced Social Security disability attorney greatly improves chances of winning. All this comes with a minimal representation fee. Trajector Disability (formerly Myler Disability) has very experienced Social Security disability attorneys. Hiring this firm will greatly enhance any claim. This will eliminate any chance of being foolish.