Do you have a mental or physical condition that renders you unable to work? If so, then you might qualify to receive disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
These benefits can fall into one of two different categories: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As you learn more about each type and begin the process of applying, you might be surprised to find the process is more complicated and time-consuming than you thought.
That’s why it’s smart to choose a disability lawyer who can take the reins for you! Today, we’re sharing a few of the top considerations to keep in mind as you search to find the right one.
Understand Your Needs
If you feel confident that you can gather the necessary paperwork, find and complete the right forms, and assemble everything promptly, then you might be able to submit your SSA claim or appeal on your own.
However, there are many advantages to partnering with a qualified attorney who has disability case experience. Whether you’re filing a new claim or appealing one that was previously denied, it’s important to make sure you’re following the right steps.
Especially if your condition is complex, it can be easy to overlook a required field or skip an important document. Doing so could delay or even derail your case, but a qualified attorney can help you put everything in place the first time. This way, you can receive your benefits as quickly as possible.
Above any other factor, it’s critical to make sure that the disability lawyer you choose has experience in your area of focus. Have they worked with clients who have the same (or similar) disability as you before? Are they familiar with your unique requirements and are they well-versed in every aspect of Social Security law?
If they’re a fledgling firm that has only accepted a handful of cases so far, then keep looking. You need a team that knows how to handle your claim to improve your odds of a favorable outcome. If you’re working on an appeal, then ask each prospective lawyer if they’re familiar with the SSA appeals process.
A denial of benefits can be upsetting and frustrating to receive. It can also be confusing to know what to do next. A reputable disability attorney will be able to walk you through your next steps with ease.
Read Reviews and Testimonials
When clients are especially happy with their lawyer experience, they can’t wait to share it with others. Unfortunately, the opposite also holds true.
Before you choose a lawyer, take the time to read online client reviews about each firm. While each client will have their own unique experience, you should be able to gauge common themes that hint at what you can expect down the road.
For instance, do you find that most reviewers speak highly of the team’s promptness and professionalism? Are there repeat mentions of their industry knowledge and expert advice? If so, then these are all great signs!
On the other hand, keep an eye out for reviews that speak negatively of the lawyer’s demeanor and approach. If multiple past clients complain about their lack of time management or skill set, then consider this feedback a red flag.
Understand Lawyer Fees
When comparing lawyer fees, it’s important to understand that most lawyers operate on a contingency fee arrangement. In short, this means that you’ll only pay them if they help you win your case.
Still, it’s important to know what you can expect to pay. Make sure that the lawyer is completely transparent, so you aren’t surprised by any hidden costs down the road. As you compare costs, resist the urge to hire the lowest-priced lawyer you can find just to save money.
Your disability case is essential to your quality of life, and you need a lawyer who’s up to the task. Prioritize experience and skill above all, and then use price to help narrow down your top few options.
Learn Their Approach to Case Management
In your initial interview with each lawyer, ask about their approach to managing the different cases that come through their doors. This is a legal field that requires a significant amount of paperwork, and the right case management system can make a world of difference.
There should be dedicated processes in place to help the team perform the various activities required to file and manage your claim. This can help ensure that your forms get to the SSA on time and that no back-office delays are holding up the timeline.
Discern Their Demeanor
At the end of the day, you need a disability lawyer who will listen to your case and work hard to win it. As they do so, you’ll be required to interact with them frequently. If they’re unpleasant to be around, then these interactions will be increasingly frustrating and difficult to get through.
You should feel comfortable sharing the details of your case with your legal team and feel confident that they have your best interests at heart. You should also receive regular and consistent communication from your lawyer. If your phone calls and emails routinely go unnoticed and you’re left hanging and questioning, then it’s time to take your case elsewhere.
Choose a Disability Lawyer You Can Trust
Applying for Social Security benefits can be both difficult and complicated. Yet, these are the very benefits that can help sustain and support you while you’re out of work.
When you choose a disability lawyer you can trust, you’re already one step ahead. You can rest assured that you have a legal advocate on your side who can walk you through these next steps and help process your claim quickly and successfully.
Ready to get started? Our team at Sweet Law includes experienced Social Security disability attorneys who can help you fight for your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!