10 Things To Know About Social Security Advocates

It can be extremely taxing to deal with life after a medical or mental condition prevents you from earning a wage. To make matters worse, the process to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be even more taxing. To make things easier, some use a Social Security advocate like Gordon & Pont. For 10 things every applicant needs to know about theses advocates and an alternative, read on.

  1. Social Security advocates help the applicant fill out and submit the rather lengthy Social Security application for benefits. This form can be confusing and requires that the person completing it pay close attention to details. Leaving out important information could result in a denial of benefits.
  2. Social Security advocates must not be employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) but may be former employees.
  3. Social Security advocates do not work for free – they charge applicants a fee that is based on a percentage of the applicant's back pay award.
  4. Social Security advocates must be certified and approved by the SSA and they must go through a background check before they can assist applicants. They usually also must have either a bachelor's degree or a background in Social Security work or law and hold liability insurance.
  5. Social Security advocates, in addition to helping with the application, also assist the applicant in supplying needed additional forms like medical records and doctor's notes and forms.
  6. Once the applicant has received a denial from the SSA, (and many do), the Social Security advocate's job is done. They are not allowed to accompany or represent the applicant during the appeals process.
  7. Another option exists for those needing help with their SSDI application. Social Security lawyers can also help applicants with their application, paperwork requests, and more.
  8. Social Security lawyers must be licensed to practice law in your state and be approved by the SSA. Lawyers must have many years of both education and experience to practice Social Security law.
  9. Not only do lawyers do everything an advocate can do, they can also represent clients at the appeal hearing. The appeal hearing is where many end up being approved for benefits – as long as they can show that they deserve them.
  10. Social Security lawyers are paid the same thing that advocates are but do more work, have more education and experience, and are able to cross-examine the vocational expert at hearings to get you the benefits you need.