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Do I need an Attorney to help with my Social Security claim?

Do you need an attorney or merely an approved representative to help you with your Social Security claim? Many law firms use approved representatives instead of attorneys to handle the hearings. What is the benefit of the approved representatives? The only benefit is that the law firm can pay the non-attorney representative less. There is no benefit to the person who is applying for disability. Always ask the law firm you are hiring whether the person handling your claim is an attorney or non-attorney representative. In addition to the obvious, that the attorney who handles your case has ethical considerations with regard to how they have to handle your claim and how they have to interact with you, only an attorney can file your claim in Federal District Court should you be denied. Many of the attorneys who handle claims a the Federal District Court level will only file those claims in which their firm handled the underlying claim at hearing. In addition, almost every law firm that uses non-attorney representative to handle hearings charges the same fee as those that use an attorney. Therefore, if you are choosing whom to hire to represent you for your Social Security hearing, where a judge will determine whether as a result of your medical condition you will be granted disability and as a result of the same either Medicaid or Medicare or both, why not hire an attorney for the same fee. In our office our Social Security section is headed by Susan O’Malley, a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist by the North Carolina State Bar. Susan has one of the only published cases in favor of a Plaintiff at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Social Security Case in the last twenty-five (25) years and she lectures frequently to other attorneys throughout the country on Social Security issues. Our firm only uses attorneys to handle Social Security cases from the initial evaluation through all levels of appeal. As almost every firm, whether non-attorney representatives or Board Certified Specialists, handles these claims for the same contingent fee arrangement that will be approved by the Administrative Law Judge, ask about whether you should hire an attorney from the beginning…


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