Why should I hire a Social Security lawyer?
Now that you know whether or not you should apply for Social Security benefits and the process for applying for benefits, you may be asking yourself why you need to hire a lawyer. An experienced lawyer can be helpful in many ways.
- First, your lawyer can make sure that you have applied for all disability programs for which you are eligible. The rules for qualifying for the different programs may be confusing and you may qualify for more than one program. By hiring a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, he or she will ensure that each program to which you may be entitled is added to your application.
- A lawyer can determine whether a previous application for benefits can be "reopened". In some cases, a prior application, even one filed three or four years earlier, can be reopened, thereby making you eligible for years of back benefits and thousands of dollars. Make sure to tell your lawyer about any previous applications for benefits.
- A lawyer can help you evaluate your case and can suggest strategies to help you win your case. After handling thousands of cases, the attorneys at the Sellers Law Firm have a good perspective as to what cases are winnable and what cases are not. We also know the common mistakes that people make on particular aspects of cases, so they can suggest ways to prevent these mistakes from occurring.
- A lawyer will make sure your case is complete and up-to-date with all medical records. Further, a lawyer will contact your treating physician and get your physician's opinion as to your physical and mental capabilities.
- A lawyer is familiar with rules of evidence and procedures that are used during the hearing process. Although Social Security hearings are considered informal and non-adversarial, there are certain rules that need to be considered. Further, you may have a Medical Expert (ME) or a Vocational Expert (VE) at your hearing. A lawyer will be familiar with how to question this expert.
- A lawyer knows how to combine physical and mental impairments, along with all vocational implications of your conditions. If you do not know how to combine medical conditions and vocational limitations, you need to hire an attorney.
Be aware that Social Security does not require you to have a lawyer at any level of the process. Further, Social Security allows non-lawyers to represent claimants at all levels. It is important to note that the person you are hiring to represent you at the hearing is a licensed attorney, like they attorneys of the Sellers Law Firm. A licensed attorney is held accountable by his or her State Bar and can be disciplined by his or her Bar for any activity or action that is not within the rules or regulations of that bar. A non-attorney is not governed by any licensing agency and is not required to have any type of insurance to insure against mistakes. Many law firms advertise for representation of Social Security claimants, but send non-attorneys to the hearing. Please make sure the firm that you hire will only send an attorney to do your hearing. At the Sellers Law Firm, only an attorney will attend your hearings and represent you with your Social Security claim. There is never a question of who will be representing you or who will attend your hearing with you.