SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPLICANTS BENEFIT FROM REPRESENTATION
People in California who are unable to work may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. However, the process to apply for and receive these benefits can often be difficult and challenging. It can be important for applicants to have representation at a hearing to maximize their likelihood of success.
Representation at a hearing has been shown to lead to a higher likelihood of a successful case. This is because representation brings the benefit of thorough preparation for the case by a knowledgeable person as well as a correct presentation of the argument in favor of a benefits application that meets the standards and guidelines of the hearing. Prior to the hearing itself, the representative would gather updated medical records. This is important because, in many cases, the only records on file by the time of the hearing will be stale, diminishing the likelihood of a successful outcome. Unrepresented applicants may not be aware of the need to develop their case with updated information prior to the hearing.
In addition, a representative will frequently obtain a medical source statement from the physician who is treating the applicant. This statement provides detailed information about the applicant's physical or mental disabilities and why he or she cannot be expected to work. Many applicants without representation only get a short, non-detailed statement from their doctor which is of limited use in a hearing. In general, a representative will use a systematic process to make clear how the client's case fits the relevant definitions of disability.
For people applying for Social Security Disability benefits , it can be very important to work with a disability law attorney. Counsel can often present an applicant's case in a clear, concise and accurate way that maximizes the potential for a successful outcome.