Can Social Security Lawyers Be Hired After Claimants Have Already Applied?

Q: Can social security lawyers help claimants who have already applied for disability insurance?

A: Yes, social security lawyers can help claimants who have already applied for disability insurance. In fact, many claimants wait to see if they are awarded benefits after initially applying before they consider hiring social security lawyers. If they are denied after initially applying, they will need to apply to have their cases reconsidered. During reconsideration, claims are reviewed much like they are during the initial application review stage. But a new disability examiner, one assigned only to claims at the reconsideration level, will review the claim and make a determination. Most claims are denied again after reconsideration and will need to move on to the next stage, which is a hearing. Claimants can hire social security lawyers at any point during the process and there is not requirement to hire one at all. Most claims that are awarded benefits after a hearing have legal representation. The most common time for claimants to hire lawyers is after being denied benefits for the first time after initially applying.

Q: If you are denied disability benefits, should you apply again?

A: If you are denied disability benefits, do not simply submit a brand new application. Most social security lawyers will tell you that this is a common mistake that costs claimants a lot of time and unnecessary stress. You will almost certainly be denied again if you submit a new application. Rather than starting at square one again, the appropriate next step would be to appeal to have your claim reconsidered. If your claim is denied after being reconsidered (and most are), do not apply all over again. The next step is to appeal by requesting a hearing.

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