Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part 6: Do I Need an Attorney?

Before retirement, you should consider many important things. In the previous part of this blog series, we discussed power of attorney. In this part of the blog series, we will discuss if you need an attorney to file for social security benefits and what to do if you’re denied.

Do I need an attorney in order to file for social security retirement benefits?
You do not need an attorney in order to file for social security retirement benefits1, although you may find it helpful. You can file for social security benefits on your own. However, you may want to contact your financial planner when you apply for social security benefits. Although you can file on your own, the guidance of a financial planner2 is often useful.

What can I do if I am denied from social security?
If you are denied from social security, then you may want to appeal this decision.  You can appeal this kind of decision without an attorney on the Social Security Administration website or through a written letter.  You must appeal within sixty days of receiving your denial.  There are four levels of appeal3.  The first is reconsideration.  The second level is a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.  The third level is a review by the Appeals Council.  The final level of appeal is a federal court appeal. Although legally, you are not required to have an attorney to complete this process, at Kemp & Associates, we strongly suggest that you contact one.  There are a number of attorneys who specialize in making appeals to the Social Security Administration and their expertise would be incredibly beneficial in your appeal process.

Retirement is a complicated process, but with good advice and guidance from experts, the process gets less complex. Sometimes in the process of retirement you will need to consult an attorney. At Kemp & Associates, we’re here to help you figure out when. In the next and final part of this blog post, we will discuss some final retirement considerations.

1 "Retirement Benefits SSA Publication No. 05-10035, ICN 457500" Social Security Administration, July 2012; http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10035.html

2 “Financial Planner.” Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_planner

3 "The Appeals Process SSA Publication No. 05-10041, ICN 459260" Social Security Administration, January 2008; http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10041.html

All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.

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