Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Social Security?
By law, you are not required to hire an attorney to apply for Social Security benefits – and you are allowed to represent yourself at any stage of the process. However, applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complicated and very time consuming process. And – especially when you are ill or disabled – it can be exhausting and even overwhelming to try and negotiate the complex application process on your own.
If you read our other articles, you will see that a complex set of rules and regulations governs who can get Social Security Disability and who cannot. These regulations cover not only what medical conditions are “eligible” but also set forth what documentation is needed to “prove” disability.
Having an experienced disability lawyer can make the difference between an approval and a denial in a Social Security case. An experienced attorney who has handled thousands of Social Security cases knows what the Social Security Administration is “looking for” and they know through years of experience “what works and what doesn’t.”
Social Security Lawyers vs. Social Security Advocates
Both lawyers and advocates are paid AFTER you win your case, and both only receive the small percentage that is taken out of your award after you collect.
Lawyers have two college degrees and attend college for a minimum of 7 to 8 years. Advocates receive their training in a few months. Lawyers (attorneys) have Law Degrees that prepare them to practice law, and they are required to pass a “Bar Exam” to obtain a law license. Advocates do not have law degrees and have not passed a bar exam.
Because the fees for Social Security cases are set by the SSA, whether you hire a lawyer or just an advocate, your legal fees will be exactly the same. We often wonder why someone would hire an advocate – with only minimal training – when they could hire an experienced social security lawyer without it costing any more!
What to Look For In a Social Security Lawyer:
- Select an SSD lawyer or law firm that handles ONLY disability law cases.
At Cantrell Green ALL we do is disability law. We are highly specialized in representing the rights of individuals who are injured or disabled.
- Select an SSD lawyer with no Bar Association Disciplinary Actions.
The lawyers at Cantrell Green have a perfect record and never been disciplined or reprimanded by the State Bar of California.
- Consider Hiring a Social Security Super Lawyer.
Super Lawyers are attorneys who have been selected as being the best attorneys in their fields, evaluated on twelve separate indicators of high professional achievement and outstanding peer recognition. The disability lawyers at Cantrell Green have been recognized as disability Super Lawyers for several consecutive years.
- Ask how many years of experience the lawyer has practicing SSD law.
Our law firm has been helping injured individuals for over 40 years – since 1971. Our Senior partner, Mario Cruz, has been providing legal representation in disability cases since 1992.
- Hire an SSD Attorney who offers a FREE Consultation.
The disability lawyers at Cantrell Green never charge for your consultation. We are here to answer your disability law questions so that you understand your legal rights.
- Hire a lawyer who charges NO up-front fees & only collects when he or she wins.
The disability attorneys at Cantrell Green never take a penny until they win your case. Once we win for you only a small percentage – as set by the SSA – is collected to cover your legal fees.
Best Long Beach Social Security Lawyers
Our lawyers are dedicated to helping disabled men and women in Long Beach and across Southern California obtain the Social Security benefits for which they qualify.
If you are unable to work – due to any injury, illness, disease or medical condition – we are here to help you too. Call us today for a free consultation. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights – and fight aggressively to ensure you receive your Social Security benefits.