What is Social Security Law? How to Find a Social Security Lawyer

Social Security Law

What is Social Security Law?

Social security law is the body of law that governs the administration of the Social Security Program. The Social Security Program was enacted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) to enact to address three fears during the 1930s and 1940s. The elderly in those days feared unemployment, poverty in old age, and ill health. Even though family members, federal retirement funds, and private charities already supported the elderly, FDR passed the Social Security Act of 1935 after the Great Depression struck. The Social Security Act swept very wide, covering retirement benefits, assistance for children, and later Americans with disabilities, spousal benefits, and health care.

Governing Law

Social security law is governed by the Social Security Acts of 1935, 1965, and subsequent modifications, such as the Assistance for Families with Dependent Children Act (AFDC) and its modification, the Personal Responsibility and Work Responsibility Act (PRA) of 1996. The Patient Protection Act and Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as "Obamacare" also heavily changed the application of Social Security. Between 1935 and 2000, over 47 different acts and amendments have been passed to update and patch the holes in Social Security. Some of these enacted laws are enacted public laws, while others are their own separate acts. The Social Security Act itself now has twenty one different titles, each one with its own set of regulations.

Reasons for Hiring an Attorney

Navigating all of the different rules that now create the body of law known as social security law requires the advice of an attorney who knows those waters. Even though a fairly recent update of social security saw is available on the internet, those rules are often hard to apply and are further modified by additional regulations and case law. The court cases that interpret those rules are only available to lawyers. In addition to the direct rules of the law, the Social Security Administration has its own regulations regarding approval for benefits, the amount of the benefits, and grounds for excluding people from benefits. Each state has its own regulations for how it distributes the funds it gets from the federal government. In short, the sheer vastness of the rules and regulations governing Social Security requires hiring an attorney.

The fact that the Social Security Act covers so many types of benefits also requires an attorney to determine if you qualify for a social security claim. Temporary benefits for children, poverty benefits, old age benefits, and survivorship benefits are all a part of Social Security Law. Even though the Social Security Administration website has the forms available online, a social security lawyer will know what type of information to ask for in order to determine if you qualify for social security. In most cases, you will not have to hire a social security lawyer or law firm for the initial filing. Attorneys and law firms become useful when filing the appeal and going before the administrative law judge as less than 30% of applications are accepted on the first time.

Things to Look for in an Attorney

A social security lawyer will preferably have experience with either administrative law or another field of law that deals with such regulations. A good attorney will also likely have negotiation experience as well as experience in mediation and arbitration. Filing for Social Security Benefits often requires meeting strict deadlines, so a good Social Security lawyer will be on time with deadlines and communicate with you about the progress of the case. Do not be surprised if it takes two years before you actually go before a judge. Having an attorney or law firm speeds up the process, but it does not guarantee results or even mean that you will be heard in a short time.

Social Security Law Articles:

Applying for Social Security or Disability: Whether you are applying for benefits based because of a disability, applying for social security can be a challenging path. What many people do not realize is that they can hire an attorney from a law firm or private practice to help them with the process...

Social Security Blogs

  • Applying for Social Security for Disability

    Whether you are applying for benefits based because of a disability, applying for social security can be a challenging path. What many people do not realize is that they can hire an attorneyfrom a law firm or private practice to help them with the pr...