1. Do I need a lawyer?
No. You can do this on your own. You can have a friend or family member help you.
There are non-lawyers who do this kind of thing on a professional full time basis.
The Government does not require that a representative be a lawyer.
Social Security Disability law is not something that law schools typically teach. It isn’t like contracts, personal injury or criminal law which are required law school subjects in ABA accredited schools.
To really learn this, you need to have a “mentor” who has done it a long time: someone who can show you first where to find the law and then how to use it. You also need to keep up with current developments through organizations like the National Association of Social Security Claimants (“NOSSCR” www.nosscr.org) that hold two, three-day seminars a year that draw thousands of practitioners from all over the country.
Hiring a lawyer who has no experience is like hiring Aunt Bea – she will probably mean well, but may not know much more than you can learn yourself simply from reading www.ssa.gov. Unlike Aunt Bea, however, the lawyer will charge you a fee.
If you can read, you really can do this on your own – just like you could write your own will; do your own taxes; build a back yard BBQ or wire your new family room.
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