If you are struggling to get disability benefits or you’ve been denied, you may be considering hiring a Social Security disability attorney. However, choosing the right attorney is critical to the success of your case.
Where Are You Located and Where Can We Meet?
There are national disability law firms that advertise across all states, but that doesn’t mean that they are available to meet in every state. If you work with one of these firms, your meetings will likely all be over Zoom or telephone. If in-person meetings are important to you, you’ll want to choose a local attorney.
Do You Work Exclusively in Disability Law?
While some attorneys focus exclusively on disability law, others practice it in addition to several other areas of law. Those in the first group are likely to have more in-depth knowledge and experience. They are more likely to have up-to-date information on SSA requirements, delays in applications, and other relevant knowledge needed for your case. An attorney who practices disability law on top of other types of law might be stretched thin by their other cases and not have the bandwidth needed to give your case the attention it deserves.
What Is Your Fee Structure?
Most SSD and SSI attorneys do not charge upfront attorney fees. Instead, they collect a portion of your disability payments up to a maximum amount. Make sure you know exactly what their services will cost you before signing with them.
How Much Assistance Do You Provide with Consultations and Other Needs?
A strong SSD/SSI attorney knows what medical evidence is necessary for a strong case file. Consider choosing one that will help you get consultations with doctors who have experience in SSD/SSI applications. Remember, you are reaching out to an attorney because you want the best possible chance of succeeding in your SSD/SSI application. You want an attorney who is equally committed to the outcome of your case.
Are You a Licensed Attorney?
Even if someone is advertising themselves as a law firm, you still have to ask this question. There are SSD/SSI advocates out there who charge for their advocacy services and try to pass themselves off as attorneys. Unfortunately, they often charge the same rates as attorneys without bringing the same skillset and knowledge to your case.
How Often Will We Meet?
The ideal answer to this all depends on your preferences. Do you want to be involved in every step of the case, or do you only want updates when absolutely necessary? Figure out what best fits your needs and find an attorney who can accommodate that.
Will You Handle My Case or Will Someone Else?
This is particularly important to ask if you are interviewing a large law firm. Many law firms will have you consult with a big-name attorney, only to pass your case off to a less experienced lawyer in the firm or paralegal. If you’re going to spend money on an attorney, you deserve to know exactly who you will be working with.
Are You Familiar with My Conditions?
This question highlights another benefit of working with a disability attorney who exclusively practices disability law. Since their time isn’t spread out across dozens of other types of cases, they are more likely to have direct experience with your condition and what the SSA will look for in your claim. Even if they don’t have extensive experience with your diagnosis, a strong disability attorney will likely have the resources and skillset needed to get a good grasp on it fairly quickly.
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Your Area
Getting approved for Social Security disability benefits can be very difficult if you do not have legal representation. In fact, the vast majority of claimants are denied with their initial application. If you are applying for SSD or SSI and you’re not sure how to strengthen your application, the best place to start is to speak with some experienced Social Security disability attorneys in your area.