You may qualify for disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are unable to work due to a physical or mental health condition. A disabled American may obtain benefits from the Social Security Administration if they cannot work: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
There is a lot of paperwork involved in qualifying for either of these types of benefits; it can be a daunting process filled with legal jargon and a lot of red tapes. A disabled person working with a disability attorney can often reduce the burdens associated with the process – and increase the likelihood of the claim being successful. A new dilemma is now posed to an increasing number of people: how do find the best lawyers for social security disability?
You do not have to hire a lawyer or advocate to file a Social Security Disability Insurance or Social Security Insurance application, but it can be extremely helpful if you do. You will know that you are getting someone who will be able to help you achieve the best possible results for your case. You should look for certain things if you choose to work with a Social Security disability lawyer.
Do You Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
Although you are entitled to the assistance of an attorney or non-attorney representative when filing a claim or appeal with the Social Security Administration, many people with disabilities choose to apply on their own for benefits. Self-representation in the SSDI and SSI process may be an option if you are confident you can file the correct forms and gather the necessary information.
There are, however, situations where hiring an attorney makes sense for an initial claim or an appeal after a denial makes sense. This is particularly true if you are uncertain whether you may qualify for benefits or have a complex medical or mental health condition. In most cases, federal law caps the amount that an attorney can charge if you choose to hire one.
In the case of denials for medical coverage based on technical reasons – rather than valid medical reasons – you might be able to get a lawyer to assist you with the process since many initial denials are not based on medical reasons. You may want to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with the Social Security Administration process to guide you through the initial steps, including completing the Activities of Daily Living form.
What to Look for in a Disability Advocate
There are two types of advocates that you can hire to assist you with your disability claim: an attorney (or a lawyer’s firm) and a non-legal organization. Working with both types of advocates is beneficial, as each has its advantages. When you hire a lawyer, they can use their knowledge of disability law to take care of both the application for disability benefits and any appeal that may be necessary if the disability application is denied.
The first question you need to ask when selecting a Social Security disability lawyer is who will handle your disability case and whether or not the law firm will collect your medical records and other important information for you. When choosing a potential attorney, it is important to consider the factors listed below. Once you have narrowed down the list, you can schedule a free consultation to determine which disability advocate would be most suitable for your situation.
There is no doubt that an attorney who has not handled disability cases in the past, probably isn’t looking forward to taking on your case. You should make sure that when you are looking for a lawyer to represent you in a case such as this, the first thing you should ask them about is how much experience they have with these types of cases.
Also, if you have a unique situation, check with this lawyer or law firm to see if they have previously represented other claimants with similar cases. You must check to see if the lawyer has experience handling this particular case, for example, if you are a parent seeking benefits for your child with a disability.
Some attorneys with experience with the SSA appeals process may be able to help you if you have already filed an application and received a denial from the SSA. One can appeal SSA denials in several ways, including filing a lawsuit in federal district court if the denial is appealed at several levels. A legal professional who understands each step of the process and is capable of representing you through the process is what you will want to hire.
The initial consultation allows you to ask any questions about your claim. Should you choose to hire their legal firm, you should not only ask questions about their plan for your case but also about their approach.
A disability claim can be complex, and depending on the facts of the case, the strategy you use to pursue benefits may differ from one case to the next. If you ask your lawyer, “what is your plan for my case” you will gain insight into how they handle cases like yours, how much experience they have, and their willingness to take on challenging cases.
Whenever an attorney talks about their approval rates rather than their plan for your case, this could signify that something is wrong. A law firm can choose what clients they take to obtain a high approval rate – or drop claims that might lose to maintain a high approval rate. If you are searching for a disability lawyer to help you with your disability case, you need to remember that their win-loss statistics mean almost as little as their plan for how they will be able to help you in your case.
Communication and Professionalism
Your disability case is very important if you cannot work due to a disability. Even though Social Security disability attorneys are frequently very busy, they need to communicate with you frequently and professionally. It might be a good idea to look for a different disability advocate if you feel as if a law firm does not want to take the time to answer your questions or if you never receive a return call, then it may be time to find another firm.
The process of filing for Social Security disability benefits involves a lot of paperwork by their very nature. If you are looking for a lawyer who can handle this for you, you should ensure that your lawyer has a system for making requests for documents and assuring that forms are submitted on time. If the law firm does not provide a good case management system, you might want to look for another lawyer to represent you.
Getting the advice of other people who have been through the same process is one of the best ways to find a top-notch disability attorney. It is a good idea to check the reviews of the law firm’s attorneys on their website and third-party websites such as Google if you don’t know anyone personally. As a result, you will be able to get a good sense of how the firm treats its clients – and whether you might be able to benefit from their services.
Applying for Social Security’s benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article on how to get approved for disability the first time. To learn more, please visit DisabilityHelp.org today!