“Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m an attorney at Hoglund Law offices. I practice Social Security Disability Law. I also help people with supplemental security income, otherwise known as SSI. Today I wanted to talk about why it may not be in your best interest to handle your own social security case.
Well, I have 5 reasons. First, when you apply, it’s very important is that your application is complete. You can apply online or in person or you can apply over the phone. What you don’t know though is, is everything in? Do they have all the information they need? And ultimately, did I choose the right date when I said I first couldn’t work? That isn’t always obvious.
The second reason why you may not want to handle your want social security case is that you have to appeal at every step within a certain deadline. So you have an application stage, a reconsideration stage, a hearing stage, and what’s called the appeals counsel after the hearing stage. There are deadlines between each of those stages, and if you miss those deadlines you perhaps could have good cause. But, generally you cannot expect to do anything but start over if you miss appeals.
A third reason why not to handle your own social security case is that during the process you can get input from doctors beyond medical records. What form of input would help? What do doctors need to comment on? How can doctors comment on it? Who gets it if you get a letter form a doctor? Are there better forms or charts that would otherwise be available? These are issues that a lawyer can help you with.
A fourth reason to perhaps why not handle your social security case on your own is one of the two most important reasons. The fourth reason is that you’re at a hearing. The judge is a federal judge, you’re in a private conference room, with a tape running. You’ve given a testimony, the judge is a trained lawyer, there is generally always a job expert in there trained in social security law, wondering whether you can do work, there may even be a medical expert in there talking about your own medical records and wondering whether the standards that disability has are met. So if you think about it, you’re in a hearing and you have to give your own testimony about why you don’t feel well, why you’re disabled, why you haven’t returned to work and what work you worked for. You have to be ready to cross examine these experts. So keep in mind that if you want this kind of help, if you want a trained attorney that does hearings all the time, it’s easy enough within reason to try to hire someone late in the game. But don’t wait any later if you decide you need a lawyer.
The fifth reason and I would think the biggest reason that you should perhaps consider not handling your own social security case is that you don’t feel well. If you have a medical problem particularly a psychological problem or maybe chronic pain that affects your ability to concentrate, handling your own social security case alone is very, very difficult enough, let alone not feeling well. So, if you keep that in mind, knowing that you don’t feel well, feel free to call our offices at www.HoglundLaw.com. You can also call us at 1-800-850-7867. Thank you.”