Social Security Disability FAQ

Why are so many benefit claims denied? How long do I have to work before I become eligible for Social Security disability benefits? Our FAQ page has the answers to the most common questions our law firm has received about applying for Social Security disability payments. Browse or search our FAQ to get started.

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  • How does hiring a Social Security disability attorney help my claim?

    Many claimants need help with their Social Security Disability benefits, but are unsure if the cost of hiring a lawyer will outweigh the benefits of approval. While it cannot be denied that the Social Security Administration is more likely to approve an applicant who has representation than one who does not, not all forms of representation are equal.

    Benefits of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

    Some applicants will seek out disability advocates for help instead of an attorney in order to save money. However, it is important to know that both attorneys and advocates are legally allowed to collect the same fee amount for representing a claimant in court. In addition, both advocates and attorneys are usually paid after the claim is won using the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) back payments.

    With this in mind, there are many additional benefits to hiring a disability lawyer for your case, including:

    • Ethics. Attorneys are bound by professional and ethical codes of conduct when they represent a client. If they do not uphold these standards, they can face severe consequences (including loss of the ability to practice law).
    • Attorney-client privilege. Anything a client says to his or her attorney is confidential.
    • Education. Attorneys must go through rigorous legal education, testing, and training, making them ideally suited to spot potential problems with your claim and find the basis to approve your benefits.
    • Qualifications. Attorneys can appeal claims from the initial denial to the federal district court level, something non-legal representatives cannot do.
    • Accountability. If you are not satisfied with your attorney’s performance, you can file a complaint against him or her through a legal grievance commission.
    • Experience. Attorneys who specialize in Social Security disability law know how to structure a claim from the initial application through appeals and hearings. These lawyers are well-versed in ways to maximize the amount of benefits a claimant receives, including identifying all of a claimant’s injuries, pinpointing the onset date of disability, proving that the claimant’s medical condition meets the requirements of SSA's listed impairments, and gathering the necessary medical evidence needed to prove the case.

    Not only should you seek out an attorney for help with your claim, you should find a legal representative that spends a majority of his or her time on Social Security disability cases. Call the number on this page or fill out our convenient online contact form to make an appointment in our Pittsburgh office.