Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a complicated process. Although hiring an attorney at the initial stage can be helpful, most San Diego disability attorneys recommend that an attorney be hired once the claim has been denied and an administrative law hearing has been scheduled.
The majority of disability claimants do not hire San Diego disability attorneys when preparing their initial applications for Social Security disability benefits. Even though more than two-thirds of all initial disability applications are denied, it generally does not make a difference whether the claimant hired an attorney to help him prepare his application. The reason is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) automatically denies the majority of applications, unless there is overwhelming evidence of a severe disability.
However, this does not mean that you cannot benefit from the help of an attorney in preparing your initial application. Claimants that are inexperienced or do not have the capabilities and resources in preparing their initial applications are advised to hire an attorney.
The Reconsideration Level
If the SSA denies the initial application, the claimant will proceed to the initial appeal level, known as Reconsideration. Because the same disability examiners review the claim at this level, San Diego disability attorneys do not usually see the need of being hired at this point in the application process.
If an attorney is hired at this level, he or she will generally require you to do more work gathering employment and medical records so the attorney will have sufficient information to evaluate the case.
The Administrative Law Hearing Level
The best time to hire an attorney is when the claim has been denied at the Reconsideration Level. You have the highest chance of success at the Administrative Law Hearing level. Because the claim is reviewed by an independent administrative law judge, it is imperative to hire an attorney to prepare both you and the necessary records the judge needs to make an informed decision.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our San Diego disability attorneys, please call the San Diego Disability Law Group or attorney George Heppner directly at (888) 503-6473.