Here’s where to get a lawyer, when to get a lawyer, what to expect from a lawyer, what a lawyer will do for you, and (important!) what only you can do for yourself.
Where Do I Find a Lawyer?
Sleepy Girl Super Special Secret Lawyer Tips
In some situations, finding the right lawyer can be a great help.
However, for most applications, finding the right doctor is approximately 10 billion times more important. A doctor who believes you are disabled and is willing to keep good medical records and fill out disability paperwork is the single most important ingredient to winning your case.
If your doctor does not think you are disabled, or does not support your disability application, there is not going to be very much a lawyer can do. Lawyers can’t just magically make your medical records change.
If your doctor does support your case, you have a lot of options! If you can find both a good doctor and a good lawyer, that is wonderful. The most important thing will be to work with your doctor to create great medical records.
Do I Want a Lawyer?
A lawyer can be great, but there is a risk: Some people hire lawyers and then stop making any effort to improve their case themselves! That’s risky. There are many wonderful things you can do that your lawyer cannot do for you. With or without a lawyer, please don’t give up hope that you can make a difference.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
New Applications – Not necessary, but may help things go more smoothly. May help you feel less stressed. Some lawyers do not take steps to really improve your chances at this point, but they will fill out the forms and can make the process easier. Some of our readers have been surprised to discover that their lawyers did not collect their medical records at this point.
Reconsideration Applications – Either way is fine. This is a short stage and some lawyers do not get involved with doing anything at this point. Reconsideration stage does not happen in all states.
Hearing Appeals – Recommended. Most people are glad to have a lawyer with them at their hearing. In certain situations, a lawyer can be a great help.
Appeals Council – Highly recommended. You need to make legal and policy arguments. Unless you have expertise in Social Security policy, you want a lawyer who knows how to do this.
Federal Court – Hell, yes. You need a lawyer.
There are a few more really good, really important things to know. Please take a look: