Are you unable to work due to a physical or mental disability? If so, you’re entitled to claim benefits offered by the Social Security Administration.
The trouble is, this institution denies an average of 67% of the first time claims it receives. That means you won’t receive any benefits unless you appeal against this decision.
Follow these pointers to help you choose a disability attorney to help you get what you deserve, whether you’re applying for the first time, or launching an appeal.
Look for a Specialist Attorney
Any type of lawyer can work with you to achieve your social security disability claim, or you can try to manage this procedure alone.
Yet, it’s always best to choose an experienced lawyer who focuses on these types of cases.
The best place to start your search is on the internet. Look for disability attorneys’ websites to help you form an idea of what they offer.
You must choose an attorney that has plenty of disability case experience, and knows the Social Security Disability and SSI regulations inside out. The application and appeal procedures are complex and hearings are challenging for the uninitiated.
When looking at your options for attorneys, try to find one that specializes in your specific disability, whether it’s depression, a chronic condition, or sensory issues.
Local Lawyers Are Best
Local lawyers know all the ins and outs of working with disability claims in your area.
They’re familiar with how the judges go about things at your local Social Security hearings office. They’re also familiar with local vocational and medical experts.
Most importantly, you’ll need to meet with your attorney several times before your hearing, and that’s much easier to do when they’re nearby.
Choose a Disability Attorney You Can Afford
The judge must approve the fees your attorney charges. That’s because they’re deducted from the back pay owing to you.
The usual fee is 25% of the amount owed to you if the SSA paid out your benefits at the time of your first claim. Comparing attorney fees is still a good idea, since some attorneys may charge slightly less than the 25% maximum.
The Social Security Administration will pay the attorney directly, and forward the balance of the payment to you. The amount has a cap of $6,000 and your attorney only gets their portion if your claim is successful.
You don’t pay anything to your attorney after you’ve settled what’s owed to them from your back pay.
Investigate Their Reputation
If you can’t get any word-of-mouth referrals from people you know, online client reviews are one of the best ways to gauge an attorney’s expertise and customer service.
Take a look at a few websites and be sure to check out your State Bar for more information on the best attorneys.
Finally, all social security disability attorneys keep track of their approval rate for disability cases. While there’s never any guarantee of a successful outcome, it’s best to choose a lawyer with a high success rate.
Avoid Unnecessary Delays
When you choose a disability attorney with plenty of experience and a high success rate, you know you’ve done everything you can to get what’s owed to you.
The Social Security Administration most frequently rejects cases based on incorrect information or incomplete paperwork. By hiring the best attorney from the start, you’ll get your payout a lot sooner.
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