|TIP #12: Before you engage a non-attorney advocate, inquire carefully what they intend to do for you. Most of it you can do for yourself.
An advocate can help you file the proper forms, but you can get assistance with this at the Social Security office. An advocate can follow-up on the progress of your claim, but you can find this out for yourself in the same way. An advocate will normally have you fill out and sign the form making him your legal representative. Don?t do this until you have gotten to know him a bit and especially until you find out what he intends to do for you. There are also companies that specialize in disability advocacy, and these companies are often not located in your local area, but in some other state. Be very careful to find out all you can about an advocate or a company before you sign up with them. Ask yourself if you can do the things they plan to do for yourself. If you can, you will probably be better off doing so. The advocate becomes a middle man, and you will be one stage further removed from the processing of your claim if you depend on him. An advocate can be a real annoyance to your evaluator, and you can do this for yourself also, if you feel the need.