Any applicant looking to receive disability benefits should be prepared for a long, tough fight. Even people with the most severe of physical and mental disabilities routinely get denied benefits if they do not present their cases properly. In order to ensure the best odds for success, an attorney is essential. Here’s why:
Attorneys Know What’s Important
Most who apply for disability benefits realize they can’t simply stroll in and claim that they are disabled and expect approval. What becomes difficult is knowing what material and evidence is relevant. An attorney will help an applicant weed through non-essential documentation and advise with regards to any medical or legal documentation required.
Attorneys also know what each individual judge considers important. They can tailor a case based upon what will work best for sometimes arbitrary and skeptical judges. They know what facts will really matter and what sort of documentation wins cases.
They Have Access
Attorneys can get documents, motions, and hearings to move along at a proper pace due to the access they have to the court system. To the uninitiated, the legal system can appear quite puzzling. There are cutoff dates for appeals, motions, and documentation. There are scheduling snafus and mix-ups. Attorneys can help smooth the way through this less-than-applicant-friendly system and make sure that no mistakes are made.
Going it Alone is Stressful
The disabled are already dealing with financial, medical, and emotional issues. To try to battle alone for benefits is simply going to add more stress to an already difficult situation. While applicants may think they are saving money by handling their own cases, this is almost never the case.
Running back and forth between courts, doctors, clerks, and law libraries costs money. The stress of trying to make sure every form is filled out correctly and all bases are covered may actually worsen health and result in more medical costs.
Attorneys Have the Necessary Medical Knowledge
Very few applying for disability benefits are doctors, so the average applicant can be aware that their condition is disabling but may not know the medical jargon and details that matter in a court hearing. Simply looking up medical information on a website is not going get the kind of detailed medical knowledge necessary.
Experienced attorneys are up on the latest treatments, can describe in detail what the disabling effects of a condition are, and can show precisely how a given condition is worthy of disability benefits.
Having Someone to Talk to is Comforting
Little things, like knowing what to wear to a hearing, how to talk, what to say, and how to act are concerns the average applicant has no experience with. Having an attorney to talk with and provide suggestions is comforting and greatly increases the odds of success.
Also, sometimes it is nice just to be able to have somebody who knows what they are doing to give a word of encouragement or help in understanding the myriad of issues that are involved in getting approved.