What is a disability advocate? Names can be deceiving.

A disability “advocate” may be a Social Security lawyer or a professional who is trained to specifically get qualified Social Security disability claims approved.

The difference between a non-lawyer disability advocate and a disability lawyer.

If you want to hire a representative during your Social Security claim process, there are choices of a disability lawyer and a non-attorney advocate or Social Security representative. Any of the Social Security disability advocate options can help answer your questions, work with doctors to obtain records, represent you at hearings, and help you to win disability benefits. The difference between your disability advocate choices narrow down into either a disability attorney advocate or a non-attorney advocate.

One of the major differences between disability advocates is training and education. In order to be considered a disability attorney in Ohio an individual must have a Bachelor’s degree, Juris Doctor degree, and receive admission to the state bar. Requirements for a non-attorney Social Security advocate are set by the SSA and include a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent training or work experience), a criminal background check, professional liability insurance, passing of a written SSA exam, and completion of continuing education courses. As non-attorneys, disability advocates do not have experience in representing individuals in federal court and generally are not well versed in the case law required to brief cases at the federal court level.

There are advantages to hiring Social Security attorneys over disability advocates or representatives. These include:

  • Social Security lawyers are bound by rules of conduct and ethical obligations, as well as attorney-client confidentiality.
  • Social Security lawyer advocates can represent you all the way to the federal district court, while non-attorney advocates can only represent you up to the Appeals Council. In short, lawyers are not limited in their representative ability.
  • Disability attorneys are better experienced to find legal issues and prepare arguments for your entitled benefits. They are also versed in cross-examination and prepping you for questioning at an appeal hearing.
  • Perhaps most important, you will be dealing with the same law firm and same team of staff and attorneys. You will know their names, you will meet them and you will personally discuss your case with them.

Costs of Disability Advocates

The costs of both a lawyer or disability advocate are regulated by Social Security. When seeking social security benefits, they can only charge up to 25% which is paid out from your Social Security backpay win.

Social Security Expertise in Ohio

If you are searching for a Social Security disability advocate in Ohio, contact the Social Security lawyers of Margolius, Margolius, and Associates. With locations in Cleveland and Columbus, our dedicated staff has extensive experience with handling and winning Social Security disability cases. Contact us for assistance with your individual Social Security disability claim.