Has an injury, or medical condition restricted your ability to work? Do you want to increase your chances of getting Social Security Disability Insurance?
Hiring a disability lawyer may help you get the benefits with ease. Close to 60 percent of SSDI applicants who have an attorney get approved for the benefits.
But what does the process of selecting a disability lawyer involve? Here are five factors to consider in the hiring process:
1. Attorney Credentials
Hire a licensed attorney with a deeper understanding of the local Social Security laws. Their license should allow them to practice law in both state and federal courts. The lawyer should also have additional specialized training in disability laws.
Confirm from the state bar association website whether the attorney has valid credentials. Check if their license can help you when filing a disability claim. Do they have a history of violating their license terms?
2. Professionalism and Courtesy
Choose a disability lawyer who is reputable for handling clients with empathy and courtesy. The legal expert should always be on call when you want to discuss matters regarding your case. They should allow you to raise questions on issues that need clarification.
Check the lawyer’s certifications in disability law. Do they have relevant educational qualifications needed to handle your unique case? Are they members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives?
The lawyer should be willing to draft an on-the-record (OTR) request if you have overwhelming evidence of your disability. Filing an OTR request is usually a time-consuming process that requires patience from the legal expert.
3. Approval Rates
Ask about the attorney’s approval rates to determine whether you stand a chance of getting SSDI benefits. Find out the expert’s approval at hearings for clients with cases like yours by reading online reviews.
Does the lawyer have a high percentage of winds for full benefits or partial benefits? Are they willing to share with potential clients the statistics about their approval rates?
Heard and Smith has over three decades of experience in Social Security Disability law. More information is available on their website, so be sure to check it out.
4. Attorney Fees
Though most disability lawyers require little to no up-front fees, expect to pay 25 percent of your disability benefits with a $6,000 cap. The attorney fees may change if your case loses at the hearing and proceeds to an appeal court.
Find out whether you will be required to pay for the case-related expenses up-front or through reimbursement. Ask the lawyer for a written fee agreement when determining whether to hire them or not. Shop around by comparing lawyer fees to find the best deal.
5. Attorney Access
The lawyer should be willing to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Find out how often you’ll have to discuss your case before the hearings begin.
Are they willing to contact you regularly to check on your medical situation? What measures does the attorney have in place to facilitate smooth communication? Will it be possible to talk to your lawyer at times of distress?
Need More Help Selecting a Disability Lawyer?
A good disability lawyer should have all the five qualities discussed above. Visit multiple law firms when selecting a disability lawyer and evaluate their qualifications before hiring one.
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