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The pitfalls of not hiring an SSDI attorney

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | SSDI

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a challenging process, especially when dealing with a disability that has already disrupted your life, your career and all that entails.

While you’re not obligated to hire an attorney for your SSDI claim, there are several potential pitfalls you could encounter if you choose to go it alone:

Failure to understand the eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria for SSDI are not always straightforward, and they can vary based on factors such as your work history, the medical evidence you have, your age, your education and the severity of your disability. Without the guidance of an attorney, you might struggle to accurately assess whether you meet the requirements (and that can cause some people to give up on a perfectly valid claim).

Mistakes in the application process

The SSDI application process requires extensive paperwork and documentation, and even minor errors or omissions can lead to delays or unnecessary denials. An experienced SSDI attorney can make certain that your application is complete and accurate, minimizing the risk that your claim will be denied for something entirely avoidable.

Difficulty gathering sufficient medical evidence

You have to provide substantial medical evidence to support your disability claim – and doctors and hospitals aren’t always great about returning requests for information. An attorney can help you compile the necessary medical records, test results and doctor’s opinions in a way that paints a comprehensive picture of your condition and its impact on your life. Knowing exactly how the disability Claims Examiner needs the information presented can be the key to avoiding a denial.

Challenges in handling denials and appeals

If your initial claim is denied, the appeals process can be intimidating. Without legal representation, you might struggle to navigate these steps. Mistakes in following the procedures could lead to missed deadlines, for example, and failures to include new information that could tip the scales in your favor would be disastrous. If your case proceeds to a hearing, it can be particularly difficult to advocate for yourself in front of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and present a persuasive case.

Enlisting the services of an SSDI attorney can mitigate the risk of being affected by these pitfalls, better ensuring that your claim is handled correctly and increasing your chances of a successful outcome – and taking a world of stress off your shoulders at the same time.