Many people applying for disability are tempted to go through the process on their own, but unfortunately the Social Security Administration rejects the vast majority of these applications for one reason or another. A few years back, we helped a client appeal a disability claim, and her case shows why it’s important to have a seasoned attorney on your side who’s willing go the extra mile.

The Challenge

Our client originally filed for disability by herself in December 2012 due to debilitating headaches, fibromyalgia, and mental health issues related to the pain of inflammatory polyarthritis. She alleged that disability began in early November of the same year. Eight months later, her application was denied because it was determined that she could perform disqualifying work. She subsequently filed a request for reconsideration, which was also denied, as is often the case. That’s when she decided it was time to call an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.

The Results

When she came to us, we helped her file an appeal, which was denied at the hearing level. Cases are often rightfully abandoned at that level, but the judge’s ruling was wrong in this instance, and we continued to fight on our client’s behalf. We filed an appeal with the Appeals Council, alleging that the judge had abused his discretion in five different areas. The Council ruled in our favor on all of them and ordered the appeal back to the same judge for rehearing.

This time around, the judge granted disability status from a date in 2014, but said he could grant it from November 2012 if we submitted additional information including medical records. There was no additional fee for us to attend the final hearing — the maximum fee had already been reached — but we did so anyway, so that our client could get an extra two years of lump sum. It was worth it: Our client recently turned 65, the age at which monthly benefit are cut off, so the additional payment has offered her much-needed security.

The Takeaway

Don’t go it alone. Filing for disability on your own may seem like the simpler, cheaper option in the short term, but it usually doesn’t pay off in the long term. Many SSDI applications are denied because of insufficient medical records, incomplete personal information, lack of doctor testimony, and other reasons. A qualified Social Security lawyer who knows the process inside and out gives you a much higher chance for success, which means you’ll get your benefits sooner.

And as our client’s experience goes to show, make sure you work with a dedicated lawyer who will go above and beyond. In the case of our client, we continued to work with her even after our maximum fee was reached so she could get the retroactive benefits she was eligible for. Who you choose to work with matters.

Get Help Filing for Disability

Whether you’re applying for SSDI for the first time or appealing your claim, we can help. Our experienced attorneys will fight for you and the benefits you need, just like we did with the client mentioned here. Contact us to get started.