Can anyone be my representative at my SSDI hearing?
Yes, unfortunately that is the current state of our Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system. A family member is a category of representatives that can represent a Claimant. Generally the family member has the best intentions when trying o help his son or daughter, mom or dad, aunt or uncle, or brother or sister. However, intentions do not count for anything, what is achieved is what counts. T
What are the categories of individuals who can represent me?
1. Friends and family members- Would you let your friend who is a waiter do your foot surgery? No! Then do not have them represent you in your hearing.
2. Case workers- They know a little about a lot. Case workers are great about helping with applications but they are not experts in SSD. They know about welfare programs, housing programs, low income health care. The are generalists.
3. Disability Advocates- Advocates can not reason with a judge the same way an attorney can. Disability Advocates get paid the same as attorneys.
4. Certified Disability Advocates- Teach a general broad brush how the Social Security process works. This is not a legal individual. They will never take your case past the administrative process because it would be the unauthorized practice of law if this person represented you.
5. Law School Drop Out- They function at a high level but lack the cognitive ability of a lawyer.
6. Law School Graduate that does not Pass the Bar- Only the very top functioning people can pass the bar. It is one of the hardest tests out there. Less than 5% of people are capable of passing the bar. They are better than a drop out because they have more time studying than the above.
7. Lawyer- State level attorney that has no federal license.
8. Lawyer with Federal License- Registered at the federal level. This lawyer can take your case from A-Z.
9. Certified Social Security Disability Attorney- A higher level thing that says an attorney is specialized in this area and must have at least 5 years experience before taking the exam.
10. Social Security Disability law school Professor- These are the top experts in their fields but they either retired early or couldn't run their own business regardless of there brilliance in a subject matter area.
If you need legal help, call Betz & Baril , we have helped over 20,000 people get benefits the last 10 years. Hire someone who has done these types of cases hundreds of times if you can and you will be better than if you do not.