Individuals who decide to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits usually have some significant health challenges preventing them from working. SSDI benefits are only an option for those who cannot engage in gainful economic activity. Their condition will need to last for at least a year for them to be eligible for compensation. Typically, workers need to have accrued enough credits to qualify for benefits based on their age at the time of their application as well.
Those applying for SSDI benefits sometimes try to handle the initial process on their own, only to end up having their application for benefits denied. They may then initiate an appeal. Even those who felt confident about pursuing benefits on their own initially may decide to seek legal guidance when they appeal that initial determination, as the understandably want to have a lawyer there to represent their interests during their hearing.
A lawyer can correct technical mistakes
One of the first things that a lawyer may do when taking a case related to an SSDI benefits appeal involves the careful review of the paperwork submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Small mistakes in the necessary documents and errors about what paperwork someone submits can negatively impact their claim. An attorney can help correct any mistakes on the documents and resubmit them to the SSA. Taking this step prior to reconsideration can help with the appeals process.
They can present new evidence
One of the main reasons that someone might not qualify for SSDI benefits when they initially apply is that they don’t provide enough documentation. Simply having a specific diagnosis is not sufficient to qualify someone for benefits in most cases. Applicants need thorough medical documentation affirming how their condition affects their ability to perform a job. A lawyer can help someone obtain the necessary medical records to convince the courts of the need for SSDI benefits during an appeal.
They can also help present that new evidence in a calm but compelling manner during the hearing. Individuals seeking to advocate on their own behalf could become so emotional that they do themselves a disservice at their hearings. They could also make mistakes because they are unfamiliar with the procedures required during a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
As a closing note, it is important to understand that attorneys are familiar with the technical rules that apply to SSDI benefits and the rights of those seeking them. Having a lawyer represent a rejected applicant during their disability hearing might make all the difference for the person seeking benefits and for the success of their application.