Claimants often struggle with the question of when they need a Social Security Disability (SSD) attorney to assist them with their disability benefits claims. Another logical question is if you need to retain such an attorney, when is the best time to do so? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), its representatives are instructed and trained to tell consumers and members of the public who ask whether an attorney is needed to help present a disability benefits claim that the answer is no.
These SSA personnel are trained to give that response because, as a claimant, you do have the right and option to represent yourself without assistance of legal counsel. These individuals also realize that a claimant’s odds of prevailing on a disability benefits claim are markedly greater when the claimant has the assistance of a lawyer who has experience in the disability field.
It is very unlikely that representatives at the Social Security Administration will answer a claimant’s question of whether his or her odds of prevailing on a disability claim are greater with the help of an SSD attorney. The likely response from such personnel is that SSA personnel are unauthorized to respond to requests of that nature.
In many cases, the major hesitation a claimant might have in hiring legal counsel is related to the attorney's costs and fees. However, often this concern is the result of misinformation or confusion. Many SSD attorneys do not charge hourly fees but contingency fees, meaning that they only collect fees and costs from the client if they are successful in obtaining a recovery for that client. Those recovered fees are then used, at least in part, to pay counsel.
Some claimants believe that they are so blatantly and obviously disabled and injured that it isn't even necessary to hire a SSD attorney to help them make their claims. However, the regulations for Social Security define terms like disability in ways that are not pertinent to the ways we popularly understand and use them. It's easy to walk into a landmine of concepts, definitions and theories in such situations if you don't otherwise have the capable assistance of skilled, experienced Social Security disability lawyer.