The process of applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits can be complex, which is why many people seek assistance with their application. However, it is important to understand that there are key differences between Social Security disability lawyers and non-lawyer disability advocates.
Factors to Consider
Although both professionals can help you with your application, there are four key differences between Social Security disability lawyers and non-lawyer disability advocates:
Lawyers have more education.
A disability advocate must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent training, but they have not attended law school. They are only required to pass a background check and an exam covering Social Security disability procedures.
Lawyers are subject to a code of conduct.
Lawyers must adhere to a professional code of conduct requiring them to provide zealous representation and keep you informed of your case progress. Disability advocates have no code of conduct.
Lawyers can cross-examine expert witnesses.
When your medical prognosis is not clear-cut, there may be debate as to whether your disability keeps you from working. Only a lawyer has the training and experience necessary to cross-examine expert witnesses to make sure their testimony does not unfairly damage your case.
Lawyers can represent you in federal court.
If you were to lose your appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA), only a lawyer could represent you in federal court.
Cost Is Not a Consideration
When you’re unable to work due to a disability, it’s understandable to be concerned about the cost of representation. However, there is no difference in price between hiring a Social Security disability lawyer and a non-lawyer disability advocate.
The SSA regulates fees for assistance with disability benefit applications by law. Both professionals are limited to the same 25% of your disability back pay (up to $6,000) as the fee for service. Furthermore, they are only allowed to charge for services if your application is approved.
Have You Or A Loved One Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you or a loved on has been denied Social Security Disability Benefits you need to speak with an experienced SSD attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk.