When you represent a claim, it’s your job to know what the rules are. You are required to tell the Social Security Administration (SSA) how to properly prepare and mail the claim. As with any legal proceeding, your clients need a fair hearing. Representing a claim also means defending the validity of your client’s disability. The judge may side with the SSA and the judge’s ruling could come down to Social Security’s views on how evidence is to be collected and how the benefits are calculated. In order to win a disability case you must demonstrate that your client has a disability that can be supported by medical evidence. As an attorney, you need to know about what medical standards are required to show disability and how to “prove” this to the SSA. It can sometimes be difficult to come up with the right medical evidence, especially if the person is reluctant to cooperate.
In the social security disability process you can help a client with his or her claim by keeping up-to-date on how to be an effective disability attorney, answering important questions, and asking for relevant documents. When you get into the Social Security disability system, you will need to meet with the SSA’s disability determination officer to request additional medical evidence. Attorneys should keep up-to-date with any changes to the SSA’s decision making rules. Your client can help prepare for the medical meeting.
No Disability and A Typical Social Security Claim After a lawyer reviews an applicant’s file and collects all of the relevant evidence, he or she can present the client’s case to the disability determination officer (DDO). The DDO will have the authority to either approve or deny a claim. The DDO is in charge of reviewing all of the relevant medical and other evidence to make a disability determination. Because SSA rules and regulations dictate what evidence is required to support a disability claim, the typical hearing process includes the applicant, disability lawyers, the doctor, and an assistant. These can all be frustrating for a person with a disability and require careful planning and coordination.
How To Get Social Security Benefits In order to get disability benefits, an applicant first has to be determined to be disabled. A Social Security disability application asks a lot of questions about an applicant’s medical history. Before the application is approved, the applicant must answer certain questions and supply evidence to prove the amount of work or education the applicant has done. When all of the required information has been gathered, the SSA will respond to the applicant with a letter stating whether the applicant is eligible to receive benefits. The agency then sends an application for a benefit payment to the applicant.
The SSA maintains a specific list of the types of benefits to be paid and how much a person will receive. If the employee is eligible for Social Security, the agency makes sure the employee receives at least the amount of money he or she is legally entitled to. When employees start working, they usually receive a one-time benefit, called “totally invalidated payments.” The SSA issues new, valid benefits at the annual benefit payment level. Some types of disability claims require additional paperwork. The questions to ask can change over time, but for the most part the applicant’s answers to the SSA’s questions are what is required. Each year the Social Security Administration makes adjustments to the disability benefit amount based on cost of living increases.