Q Is it necessary to hire an attorney when applying for Social Security Disability in North Carolina?
Having a Social Security disability attorney in Raleigh, NC as you begin applying for Social Security benefits is not necessary, but it can certainly be helpful in many cases.
An attorney may be especially helpful if you wish to appeal the Social Security Administration (SSA) decision regarding a previously filed claim. Having a lawyer as your representative may help to ensure that you submit all necessary documentation and that your application is complete to avoid any unnecessary delays or avoidable denials.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
The SSA will work with your chosen attorney, just as they would you. Hiring an attorney can eliminate a lot of the stress that accompanies the application or appeals process, and you may run less risk of claim denials when you have a legal professional working on your behalf.
Some of tasks a Social Security disability attorney can coordinate include:
- Clearly explaining the application process
- Helping you articulate and demonstrate the full extent of your condition
- Navigating the court system and speaking to the judge and SSA on your behalf
- Striving to obtain the benefits for which you qualify
- Assisting you with any interview or conferences you may have with the SSA
- Filing an appeal, if necessary
- Preparing witnesses for a hearing, if applicable
As you begin searching for a North Carolina disability attorney when you get ready to apply for benefits, find a lawyer that is familiar with these kinds of cases. You’ll also want to keep in mind that you must inform the SSA in writing as soon as you hire a lawyer.
You’ll need to send them an Appointment of Representative form. You may download the form from the SSA website or obtain it at an SSA office. Your attorney may even provide the form and assist you in filling it out. Keep in mind that while you can appoint multiple people from a single firm, you cannot appointment the firm itself to represent you.
Your lawyer must also file a fee agreement or fee petition with the SSA to charge you for services. The fee may not exceed the amount authorized by the SSA. Both you and the attorney must sign the agreement. Generally, the fee cannot be more than 25 percent of past-due benefits, or $6,000, whichever amount is less. (Fees as of this writing.)
Contacting a Social Security Disability Attorney in Raleigh, NC
In 2011, 653,877 disabled workers lost their benefits, according to information from the SSA's "Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.” If you believe you are legally entitled to benefits, you certainly do not want to be one of the individuals whose disability benefits are terminated.
The legal team at Brent Adams & Associates has helped many disabled individuals with applications for Social Security benefits or appealing a claim decision. For more information, you may call 910-892-8177 or 877-BRENT-ADAMS today for a free case evaluation.