Don’t Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits on Your Own

Written by John Horn. Posted in Blogs

When you’re disabled, Social Security Disability benefits can be a lifeline. But what about getting those benefits in the first place?

You may be tempted to apply for benefits on your own, but you’re much better off working with a qualified attorney. Learn the four reasons why you shouldn’t risk applying for benefits yourself and how a lawyer can help your application be as successful as possible.

  1. You Could Be Denied on a Technicality

The Social Security Disability rules and regulations are notoriously arcane. You must have the exact right documentation and proper forms within a specific time frame, or your application will be rejected on a technicality, no matter how disabling your condition.

If you choose to represent yourself, the risk of getting denied will be higher. The system is complex enough that only experts have a good chance of navigating it successfully. Instead of going alone, work with an experienced attorney who will know exactly what you need and when. And if your initial application is denied, an attorney will know what to do next to help you get your benefits upon appeal.

  1. You Might Experience Delays

Not only will an attorney know the steps you need to take, but they will be able to help you present your case in the best possible way. For example, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney will know which of your symptoms or conditions to highlight to give you the best chance of winning benefits.

Without an attorney, you may have to go through more rounds of paperwork, which causes you delays in receiving your benefits, or you may not receive benefits at all. Trust an attorney to know just what information is relevant to your application and how to present it in the clearest way to show that you qualify for benefits.

  1. You’ll Have to Do More Work Yourself

Because the rules for Social Security Disability applications are so complex, getting the right information and complying with the rules takes a lot of time and work. If you’re already disabled, you probably don’t have a lot of energy to spare right now — you need to focus on taking care of yourself, not filling out paperwork.

If you try to apply for benefits on your own, you may not have the time or energy to do the job quickly or well. Instead, let an attorney handle the heavy lifting for you so that you can focus on what matters most.

  1. You Might Never Receive Benefits

Working with a lawyer does not guarantee that you’ll receive Social Security Disability benefits, but it does significantly improve your chances. While your disability prevents you from working, you still have to pay your bills somehow — the financial stakes are too high to leave things up to chance.

Instead of applying for benefits on your own and risk being rejected, work with an expert to give yourself the best chance of success. You can’t afford to not work with an attorney when you have so much at stake.

If you’re worried about being able to afford an attorney, you may be surprised. Most Social Security Disability lawyers don’t get paid unless you do — they won’t charge you a dime unless they manage to win your benefits. You’ll come out ahead in the long run by working with an attorney.


If you want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits or have already started the application process, reach out to Horn & Kelley, PC. Our team has the experience you need to give you the best chance of receiving benefits. Call us for a free consultation today.


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