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Do I Need a Pennsylvania Attorney for My Social Security Application?

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available to those individuals that are disabled. This means they are unable to perform their former employment, and unable to perform work tasks in any respect.  To determine whether an individual qualifies for SSD or SSI, the government will examine medical records, as well as many other documents.

Some individuals are unclear whether they require legal assistance for their disability claim.  You have the right to be represented by an attorney, or another qualified individual of your choice when you do business with Social Security. Whether an individual has already filed a claim or is seeking more information about Social Security disability law, it is wise to secure legal advice sooner than later.

Online, the Social Security Administration has information regarding how to apply for benefits, including the information needed to complete an application.  An attorney can help with this process. Attorneys skilled in the area of Social Security also appreciate nuanced aspects of claims, such as the fact that your benefits may be available to divorced spouses, under certain circumstances (money paid to a divorced spouse will not reduce your benefits or those due your children).

Aspects of the Social Security process, from application to participation in the periodic continuing disability reviews can be stressful for claimants. A skilled attorney understands the best methods of presenting “acceptable” medical evidence according to administration standards, and can help you present a strong case for securing benefits. 

For example, an attorney can avoid delays in filing for benefits. It is possible that benefits will be reduced in the event of a delay, because retroactive benefits are paid based on the filing date.  Certain claims may be paid for the preceding 12 months before the application date.

A common misunderstanding among social security applicants is that they must wait 12 months in order to file for Social Security benefits. In fact, it is important to file for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Unfortunately, it can take months for the Administration to process an application.

One particular issue that can be aided by the advice of an attorney is opening old claims that were denied, and not appealed. The claimant can receive a back benefit from re-opening an old claim. A claim can be withdrawn if the situation improves, and a client finds that they an return to work.

Navigating the electronic method of filing for Social Security can also be challenging for some applicants, but it is important to understand that cases may proceed more quickly when forms are submitted online.  Regardless, there may be paperwork burdens associated with filing for benefits which include forms, disability reports, appeals, and activity and pain questionnaires.  Ensuring that the medical record is complete is also a task that can be helped by a skilled attorney.

Finally, it is important for social security applicants to understand that many claims are denied on initial application.  By securing and completing all available evidence at the outset, there is a higher likelihood of receiving benefits.  If an initial application is denied, an attorney can represent you at a hearing before an administrative law judge. While it is not required that you obtain legal representation, an attorney can interpret complex regulations associated with Social Security regulations.

The Pennsylvania attorneys at Needle Law are ready to help you with your Social Security case. We can assist you in throughout all phases of the application process, including re-evaulations.  Our goal is to make the process of securing benefits smooth for you.  If you or a family member needs assistance with a claim, call our office today at 570-344-1266.

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