Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “I have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and I have been denied. I think I need a disability lawyer. I have heard some horror stories about how some disability lawyers won’t call you back and they come to the hearings unprepared. I am wondering what I need to know before I hire a SSDI lawyer?”
Millions of workers apply for SSDI benefits each year. Unfortunately, thousands of them also have their SSDI benefits claims denied. While many claimants complain that they should not have to hire a lawyer to get benefits they have earned, the truth of the matter is that a disability lawyer can help improve your chances of winning SSDI benefits at every stage in the disability process.
As you have gathered, however, hiring the right disability lawyer can be critical to winning your disability claim. And as with any profession, there are good lawyers and there are bad lawyers. So what makes a good disability lawyer? Let’s look at a few things you need to consider before hiring disability attorney.
Steps to finding a disability lawyer:
- Does your attorney understand disability law?
One of the most important factors in finding the right disability lawyer is finding an attorney who understands disability law. Have they won cases like yours before? Do they understand your condition and what they will have to prove to win your case? Do they specialize in disability cases? What is there approval rating?
It’s important to note that your disability representative does not have to be an attorney to represent you in court. Although there are many disability advocates who are very good, a disability lawyer may have a better understanding of SSDI laws, how disability statutes and case law should be interpreted, and how to properly win your case.
- Do you have access to the lawyer?
Disability lawyers are very busy. In fact, they may be working on dozens of cases each month. Don’t be discouraged if you call a disability lawyer’s office and cannot speak directly with an attorney. It is important, however, that you feel like your concerns are important, you receive professional treatment, and you receive timely callbacks.
If you cannot speak to a disability lawyer immediately find out if it is possible for you to have some type of consultation with them prior to your disability hearing.
- Find out how your case will be managed.
Although you might not regularly meet with your lawyer, you should be able to receive timely updates about your case. It’s likely it will take months or maybe even years for your case to be resolved. What you do not want is for your case to get bogged down because your attorney did not have adequate support, you were not assigned a case manager, the firm had too many clients, or you were supposed to send more documentation and you were not notified.
With a little knowledge and due diligence you should be able to find a lawyer who can help you with your disability claim. If you cannot find a lawyer to take your case, it could because they do not believe they can win.
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