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Should I get a lawyer to apply for SSI for me or is this something I can do myself? Does a lawyer require payment up front for

Raleigh, NC |

this? These are the illnesses I have - 10% impairment for life in my hand and thumb, resulting in arthritis and carpal tunnel in left hand arthritis in both hand and foot due to fractures. Fibroids, endometriosis, cyst on ovary, scoliosis, congenital heart defect, laryngeal issues, Gerd, gastritis. Would I possibly qualify for ssi? Im in my 40s.

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Filed under: Social security
Attorney answers 5


You don't have to have a lawyer to apply, but those who do have a better chance. Whether you qualify depends on a combination of your medical limitations and vocational factors. Most lawyers give free consultations and work on a contingency basis.

The information you obtain from this website is not legal advice. Please contact us at 954-916-2667 or in Florida for a FREE evaluation and legal advice pertaining to your particular claim. We give telephonic consultations and handle claims electronically nationwide


You may apply yourself if you meet all the eligibility requirements.


I can recommend the folks at James Scott Farin for this. Crystal Rouse is one of their SSDI attorneys and she is very good. Their consultations are free, as I recall, and they should be able to set you straight. Good luck!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.


Most lawyers who specialize in this kind of work give a free consultation. If they agree to represent you, the fees are set by statute and are not charged up front. Whether or not your claim will be approved depends upon your work history, education level, and the impairments caused by your various illnesses. Having an experiences attorney or disability representative can possibly increase your chance of approval because they will know how to present the facts in a more effective manner, focusing on all of the things Social Security thinks is relevant (which may be different than what you think is relevant). However, you can apply without having a representative.

This message is intended for informational purposes only. It is impossible to consider all relevant facts from a message board question. No attorney-client relationship has been created. Readers should seek a personal legal consultation with an attorney of their choice for the most accurate advice. I offer a free consultation by phone or e-mail.


Yes, you can apply by yourself. I have found it is best to go to the Social Security office and apply in person. However, most cases are denied on the initial application. It is best to hire an attorney after you are denied. Your odds of being approved is greatly increased when you are represented.
It is impossible to give an opinion on whether you would qualify for SSI without more information. For example, for some people, a congenital heart defect may be no more than a minor inconvenience. For others, the defect be debilitating. Social Security looks at your age, education work experience and medical impairments to determine if there are any jobs you can theoretically do. You may qualify if your combination of impairments keeps you from performing any type of work and if you meet the other requirements. GOOD LUCK!

I am licensed to practice law only in North Carolina. My answer provides only general information. Do not rely on this answer as specific legal advice for your particular situation. This answer does not form an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with an attorney to fully discuss your situation and to obtain advise about your legal rights and obligations.