Nov 5, 2012

What Impact Does An Attorney Have At The Initial Level?

As we began this study, we had two very basic questions that we wanted to answer: 1) does representation increase the likelihood that an individual who is eligible will be awarded disability benefits, and 2) does representation increase the likelihood that the individual will receive a decision sooner. We were able to provide preliminary answers to these questions; for instance, we found evidence that processing times are longer for represented claims, particularly when represented by attorneys. Additionally, we found that represented cases have higher allowance rates, significantly so for SSI, but barely so for SSDI cases.
     I think there could be a connection between the two findings. Attorneys avoid weak cases. Weak cases are usually denied more quickly than strong cases.

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