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Social Security disability is a valuable safety net for millions of Americans, but getting approved for benefits is not a walk in the park. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a high standard for proving disability; not only must you prove that you’re not able to work in your previous occupation—you must also show that you cannot perform any work at all based on your experience, education and training. This is accomplished largely through the submission of extensive medical evidence from doctors who have treated you in the past or are currently treating you. If the medical evidence doesn’t suggest that you’re unable to work, then it is tough to get disability benefits.

Do You Need an Attorney to File?

The short answer is yes. While it is true that some people file claims on their own, the truth is that the claims process is complicated. Beginning with the initial application and moving on to the disability hearing, you stand a heightened chance of approval relying on an attorney’s expertise. A lawyer can:

  • Offer advice about the reported onset date of your disability
  • Effectively argue how and why your condition meets the impairments recognized by SSA
  • Unearth facts that help persuade SSA in your favor
  • Find, collect and submit your medical evidence
  • Obtain opinions from medical professionals you’ve seen in the past
  • Help you prepare for your hearing
  • Cross examine experts on your inability to work

Disability claims take quite a bit of time to work their way through the system. Having an attorney file your claim for you ensures that you don’t miss any necessary paperwork the first time, which can ultimately delay your approval.

Denied Social Security?

It is not unusual (in fact, it’s quite the opposite) for applicants for Social Security disability to be denied the first time they file. Only around 28 percent of applications are approved initially. In fact, most are also denied the second time around too, with around 10 to 15 percent of reconsiderations being approved. Often the reason for denial is that the claimant was unable to present sufficient medical evidence that speaks to the scope of their disability in order for the SSA to make a proper ruling. Working with an experienced Social Security disability attorney who understands the process and who can help you prove and substantiate your claim makes a lot of sense and serves to further your chances of approval.

Making a Claim for Social Security Disability

Although you don’t need an attorney to file for Social Security disability, the truth is that having representation increases your odds of being approved for benefits. A well-seasoned disability attorney is adept at the various nuances involving SSD claims and is therefore a valuable tool as you work through the claims process. Whether you are a first-time applicant or you are appealing a denial for benefits, Russell and Hill has helped thousands of clients win their disability benefits. Contact our Tacoma Social Security disability attorney now for your free, no-obligation consultation.

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