You have worked for years only to get hurt in a car crash or suffer a severe medical issue, leaving you unable to work. Thankfully, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Although SSDI benefits won’t amount to as much as your usual paycheck does, they can help you cover your cost of living expenses if you are unable to work. In theory, you can put together and submit your own SSDI benefits application. However, many applicants choose to work with an attorney when they need SSDI benefits.
What are the top three reasons that people hire a lawyer to help them apply for Social Security disability?
Applying is often a stressful process
You know perfectly well that you cannot work right now, so SSDI benefits are truly necessary for you to continue paying your mortgage and buying groceries. When there is so much riding on the success of a benefits application, it can cause you a lot of stress.
Being anxious about the paperwork could actually affect your cognitive function and make you more likely to make small, preventable mistakes that delay your approval. When you have a professional handling your application, you can focus on your health and your household rather than worrying about paperwork.
Proving a truly disabling medical condition can be hard
There is a reason that so many people who apply for SSDI get rejected at first. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a strict standard for total disability. An individual living with the debilitating symptoms of their medical condition might assume that just submitting a few pieces of diagnostic paperwork will be enough to show that they have a disabling medical condition.
However, supplemental materials and medical evidence, including documents that show how your condition affects your daily life or your ability to work, are often key to a successful application or appeal.
You may not be your own best advocate in a formal setting
Getting benefits may be absolutely necessary for your family, which might mean that you will struggle to remain calm and rational when discussing the matter during an appeal hearing.
Especially if you have already received a rejection notice and know that an appeal is necessary, bringing in a professional advocate will help you present your best self to the SSA and the administrative law judge hearing your case. If you try to represent yourself, you run the risk of your emotions taking over and making you seem less sympathetic.
Understanding why people seek legal help when applying for SSDI could lead to an easier process when you need benefits.