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More Social Security Disability Applicants Are Seeking Representation
Date:4/20/2009

cializes in SSDI">specializes in SSDI and understands the complexities and nuances of the process. Don't be fooled if a representative tries to impress you with their local influence. It's highly unlikely that they have special power over local SSA staff or can ensure your hearing will take place in front of a specific judge.

Will the organization help you file the initial application for SSDI?
The myth that you cannot have a representative help you file your initial application for SSDI may stem from the fact that many attorneys only accept SSDI clients after their applications are denied. "Finding help from the beginning can improve your chances of getting approved earlier and cost you less in representative fees as a result," said Swierczek.

What specific activities will the representative undertake on your behalf?
It's important to choose a representative who consistently works the claim on your behalf throughout the process and removes the burden from you. For example, you should ask:

  • Will you contact my doctors and collect or update medical records for my file independently of the SSA?
  • Will you regularly query the SSA for status of my claim or confirm my claim file is up-to-date?

The SSA's Disability Determination Service may arrange for you to visit a doctor or compile your medical records, but a representative can ensure the medical evidence is supplied by your treating physician. "Your representative should regularly follow up with the SSA to ensure your claim is in order," he said. "You don't want to show up at a hearing only to learn critical information, such as your most recent medical tests showing your illness has worsened, did not make it into your file in time."

Does the organization have experience representing someone with your disabili
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