What Is a Social Security Disability Advocate?

Social Security Disability advocates offer professional services to disabled individuals, helping people navigate their way through the SSD application, hearing and appeals process.

That’s what disability advocates do – but before you make the choice to work with one, you’ll want to know what makes an advocate qualified to assist with your SSD claim. Read the following, and you’ll find the answer.

Social security lawyer vs. advocate


Some Social Security Disability advocates are licensed attorneys, and they typically have extensive legal expertise. However, many non-attorney advocates are highly skilled, experts at representing disabled individuals in SSD claims.

Disability advocates are required to have either a college degree or the equivalent in training and work experience. They must also pass a certification exam and a background check, and to remain current on any changes to disability rules, they must meet the continuing education requirements.

As you can see, advocates have what it takes to handle SSD claims. With an experienced professional on your side, you stand a strong chance of getting the disability benefits you need.


While many disabled individuals only seek the help of an advocate after their initial SSD application is denied, you have the right to representation at every stage of the disability claims process.

Your advocate can help you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) – and if your application is denied, they can assist with your request for reconsideration and provide you with representation should you need to file an appeal.

If the Social Security Appeals Council denies your SSD claim, a non-attorney disability advocate won’t be able to represent you. But if you work with a team of SSD advocates that includes licensed attorneys – like the professionals at Mountain West Disability – this won’t be an issue.

Should You Hire a Social Security Disability Advocate?

While you can pursue an SSD claim on your own, your chance of securing disability benefits is higher if you choose to work with an experienced professional. Attorney and non-attorney advocates understand the ins and outs of the claims process, and you may find it advantageous to have competent representation.

Worried about paying for legal services? Don’t be – Social Security Disability advocates work on a contingency basis, with the fees coming out of the past-due benefits awarded. If you don’t score a win on your SSD claim, your advocate won’t get paid. And if you do receive a backpay award? The amount that will go toward legal fees is capped at 25 percent of the total, up to a maximum of $6,000.

If you’re thinking about filing an SSD claim – or if your disability application has been denied – the professional team at Mountain West Disability is ready to fight for your rights. We’ve helped hundreds of disabled individuals get the benefits they need and deserve, and we’d love to do the same for you. To consult with a friendly and knowledgeable Social Security Disability advocate, contact us today.