Why is It Better to Have a Lawyer for a Disability Claim?
Attorneys in the Social Security disability work on a “contingency basis.
It is common knowledge that people who are facing criminal charges or a civil lawsuit should retain a lawyer.
Most areas of law have only two sources of authority.
For instance, the field of criminal defense has the Penal Code and Case law. Case law is the guidance that comes in the form of written decisions from appellate courts. Law from Social Security Disability, however, comes from many sources. Attorneys, who handle Social Security Disability cases, must know the Code of Federal Regulations, Case Law, Social Security Rulings, Social Security Acquiescence Rulings, HALLEX, and the POMS. Often the law in one of these sources will contradict the law in another. Only an attorney who specializes in the field of disability would know which authority is binding on the court according to each set of facts.
Perhaps the most significant advantage that comes with hiring an attorney is knowledge of the judges and courts.
Just as every courthouse has a chief judge who has a distinct personality, so does every judge who sits on the bench. Judges are people and have their own set of quirks, insecurities, values, admirable traits, and sensitivities. Knowledge of the judges is an absolute requirement for an attorney who practices Social Security Disability.
Knowledge of the judge is just one area of expertise an attorney will possess. Another one is knowledge of the witnesses.
Once again, Claimant “A” suffers from Bipolar disorder and a herniated disc in her back. Judge “C” is handling the case. Judge “C” has asked a psychologist named “Dr. MD” to look at the medical records and testify. Dr. MD testifies the bipolar disorder is severe, but no so severe it’s disabling. In his opinion, claimant “A” would still be able to work in jobs that require no more than simple repetitive tasks. If the judge accepts this testimony as accurate, “A” will lose her case for disability benefits. “Disability Lawyer” to the rescue. Disability Lawyer has had many cases with Dr. MD and knows him well. He knows Dr. MD doesn’t read or take into account physical conditions in his testimony. They have the following exchange:
DL: Dr. MD, can physical pain aggravate symptomology associated with my client’s mental state.
Dr. MD: Absolutely.
DL: I want you to assume my client also suffers from a back condition that would put her in pain for most of the day. Adding that to the bipolar disorder, does that change your opinion as to her restrictions.
Dr.MD: Yes, Counsel. If she were in physical pain, I believe her mental condition would be exacerbated, and she would be disabled.
Claimant “A” is now going to win her case. Not because of her bipolar disorder by itself and not because of her back condition standing alone. She will win because her lawyer knew the expert and his specific practices and beliefs. Once again, having an attorney is the difference between winning and losing.
The key is to have the right lawyer.
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I would highly recommend this firm.”
Thank GOD I finally found Devermont and Devermont. Under six months of working with them, we now receive the monthly benefits we were likely never going to see without the help of Mr. Devermont. Can’t thank them enough.”