When you’re looking for an attorney to help you with a social security disability case, you might not know where to start looking. However, it’s a good idea to find someone to represent you, as people with legal representation are more likely to win an appeal in a case like this than people who represent themselves. It’s also important to remember, however, that not all social security lawyers are created equal.
When you’re looking for assistance, here are some ways to determine if you should hire a particular social security disability attorney to help you.
Organizations vs. lawyers
The two main types of social security disability representatives are organizations and lawyers. If you work with an organization, you may have the benefit of access to a staff of specialists who are well-versed in handling issues such as social security disability claims. These organizations can be based in many different states and can be focused on helping people with social security claims from around the country.
The benefit of working with a lawyer or a law firm is that they are willing and able to flex their legal muscles to help you win a disability claim. For an appeal to the Appeals Council, it’s also the most beneficial idea for you to hire a social security disability lawyer.
Whichever representative you choose to use, whether they are from an organization or a law firm, it’s vital that they will represent you diligently and put in the work to help you win your case.
What questions to ask
Once you’ve determined which path to take when choosing a representative, it’s time to look at the kinds of questions you should be asking your representative. This is not something to take lightly, and you should be asking plenty of questions to determine whether this social security disability lawyer or organization is the right fit for you and your needs during the appeals process.
Here are some questions that will be helpful to ask, along with a little bit of context for why you should be asking them.
- Specific experience questions:
- Do you have any experience representing clients who have my specific disability?
- If so, how much experience do you have with this form of representation?
- Questions about their business practices:
- How long have you been in business?
- Have you been accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
- Can I talk to any previous clients you may have had about their experience with you?
- Questions about support they will or will not provide:
- Will you provide counsel to complete any paperwork necessary to my case?
- Will you track appeals and forms to make sure they’re on schedule?
- Will you attend hearings with me?
- Will you contact my doctors to obtain any necessary medical records or information that is needed?
- How often will you check with the Social Security Administration (SSA) about my claim?
- Questions about fees:
- What is your fee?
- Is there an extra fee if you attend hearings or appointments with me?
- General questions about other concerns you may have:
- How long should I expect the process to take?
- Is there a limit to how many times I am allowed to call with questions?
- How many people will be working on my file?
If the representative returns your calls and sounds knowledgeable and experienced in the realm of social security disability claims, they might be a good fit for you. However, one last important thing to ask your representative if there are certain days, they will not be available to attend hearings and whether they would be taking a significant amount of time off from work in the next year or two.
Once you have determined that a representative has met the correct criteria, you should feel safe and secure hiring them to represent you in your appeal case.