Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lawyers and Social Security Disability

Whether to get a lawyer for your Social Security Disability or SSI claim is a matter of personal choice. I will tell my opinion from my experience in handling these cases how an attorney can help. I believe the most important function of a lawyer in SSDI cases is to fully develop the record. This means making sure all relevant medical records are in the file. A lawyer can look at a file and see what is needed to win a particular case. It is not enough in most cases to just have all the medical records from the treating doctors. You have to know what you have to show to prove disability for every individual case. This includes getting the appropriate RFC forms from the right treating doctors. The RFC forms are just another tool the lawyer uses to make a case. The limitations from these RFC that are supported by the medical records and statements from your doctors have to be tied into the "theory" of the case. A good lawyer will craft his theory of why the claimant can not work by integrating all the elements of the claim. Many things come into play including age, education, prior work, limitations, objective evidence, subjective evidence, testimony, possibly medical and vocational experts, the listings and many other factors. If you decide you don't need a lawyer it would be a good idea to learn as much as you can about Social Security Disability.