It’s an excellent idea to hire a Social Security disability attorney for your disability claim; they can help you at every stage of the process and ensure that your claim has the highest chance of approval.
However, equally important as finding an attorney in the first place is finding an attorney who is experienced and trustworthy. You need an attorney who is willing to fully get to know your case, engage with you at every level of the process, and continue to represent you even if you are denied at some levels or the process takes longer than expected.
How Can I Judge if an Attorney Is Well-Suited for My Case?
As you search for an attorney, you’ll want to find one who has specific experience with Social Security cases. It is, of course, a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends and acquaintances and to search the web for reviews.
However, before hiring your attorney, you should do some investigating and ask some basic questions to make sure they can provide the support you need; for example, when should I meet my attorney? What levels of the process will they help me through? And, of course, how much will they charge for their services?
It’s important to shop around for a law office that will respect your case and give it the attention it requires. Do not settle for someone who does not offer a face-to-face meeting and regular contact leading up to your court date.
When Should I Meet My Attorney?
When it comes to Social Security disability cases, many law firms assign attorneys fairly randomly. This could be due to workload or policy. Because of this practice, if you decide to work with a law firm without meeting your attorney first, there may not be a specific attorney assigned to your case until later in the process. You may not even meet them until the day of your hearing, which is unacceptable.
A Social Security disability insurance claim is a dedicated legal process that requires the right understanding and approach to ensure the best possible outcome. This cannot be achieved if you have not met with your attorney before your hearing date.
You should meet with your attorney early on and regularly. All too often, clients must wait many months for a court date without any contact from their lawyer, only to discover on the day that their representative does not know your situation well enough to enact a convincing case in their favor.
Because of the nature of disability claims, it is imperative that your lawyer gets to know your situation closely. They will need to know the details of your condition and the ways in which it impairs your life and work. This can and should only be done firsthand through regular contact. If this level of service is not offered by the Social Security disability lawyer you’re in contact with, making the effort to find one who does offer this type of service will be well worth your time.
What Levels of the Process Will My Attorney Assist With?
Before entering into an attorney-client relationship, it’s important that you understand the levels of service to expect. Some lawyers will assist with your initial application, a request for reconsideration, and/or a request for hearings if a claim proceeds to that point, but they may terminate their services at this point, or if the hearing is lost.
Before settling on a lawyer, ensure that you get all the details of their involvement in your claim. The last thing you want is for your lawyers to pull out unexpectedly after losing at an ALJ hearing.
What Will My Attorney Charge?
It can be tricky to gauge what an SSDA will charge since the winning percentage is based on a number of factors that differ depending on your representation. Typically, percentages are lower for those who don’t attend court. Always check the level of service and the winning percentage an attorney is offering before shaking hands.