While you are not required to have a lawyer representing you during a social security disability claim, statistics have proven that those that do have lawyer representation are more likely to be approved for benefits. This statistic increases when a case has risen to a hearing level. If you are looking for a good disability lawyer, there are some things to consider to find qualified, experienced, and ethical representation.
How to Find a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security law is a unique field of law and you want a qualified attorney to work with you on your disability claim.
Many large national firms will be licensed in a number of states and specialize in Social Security disability claims throughout the United States. Some are corporate entities with a corporate approach. You may never meet your representative. Some groups do not use actual attorneys, and many are affiliated with insurance companies. Be careful of firms that are recommended to you directly by insurance companies for these reasons. Medium or small-sized firms often know the expectations of the judges who decide your case and have worked with these judges before.
There are ways to find a reliable Social Security disability lawyer near you:
- Do an initial inquiry online. Search for a local disability lawyer and visit their website, if any, to learn more about their staff and knowledge of Social Security law. Review their cases and see if they have experienced attorneys.
- Consult with others in similar Social Security situations as yours. If you are aware of anyone that has worked with a disability lawyer on his or her claim, use them as a reference. If their experience was good or bad, they should let you know and give you a firm referral.
- Interview potential firms. Once you have compiled a list of potentially good disability lawyers to work with, begin contacting them for initial meetings and consultations.
Determining Factors of a Good Disability Lawyer
When searching for a good disability lawyer and making initial calls and inquiries to firms, pay attention to the level of professionalism by the staff. Social Security disability firms can be generally busy, but if you are not receiving timely responses back or courteous treatment, it is usually a warning flag. If this is already happening before you are a client, it is likely to continue throughout your case if you hire the firm to represent you. Don’t be alarmed if you aren’t directly connected with an attorney each time you call; Social Security attorneys spend the majority of their time in disability hearings representing their clients and rely on staff members to handle daily office functions.
Handling of Cases
You’ll obviously want to hire an experienced disability attorney to represent you at your hearing. Before hiring, check on a firm’s approval rate and ask any questions you may have.
Some potential questions to ask when finding a good disability lawyer include:
- What is your staff’s protocol when handling new cases?
- Do I have to make appointments in advance?
- What are some associated case fees I should be aware of?
- Do you take cases to federal court if appropriate issues exist?
- What portion of your approvals occurs at hearing levels?
- What percentage of your wins are for full disability benefits? What percentage of your wins are for partial benefits?
Asking these questions will give you a better idea of how the firm functions and what to expect if you do work with them.
Representation at disability hearings does not have to be from a licensed attorney unless your case reaches the federal court. However, a licensed attorney has better knowledge of Social Security law and is a bigger advantage at disability hearings. A disability lawyer has federal experience, presumably at the appellate level as well, and knows the law an ALJ will base your case on. Request the following information:
- How long have you been a practicing disability lawyer?
- Typically, how many cases do you handle each year?
- Do you or your staff ever attend special training courses?
Experienced disability lawyers in your area will be more aware of how specific appeals courts operate and can be a major advantage to you and your Social Security case.
Along with an experienced disability, lawyer comes their knowledge of Social Security claims. Claims vary based on medical conditions and history. The more claims a disability firm has appealed, the more knowledge the lawyer has to rely on when working on your individual case.
Finding Disability Lawyers in Ohio
Margolius, Margolius, and Associates is a firm dedicated to Social Security disability claims in Ohio, from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati, as well as Akron, Mansfield, Canton, Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown, and other localities. If you need help in claiming your benefits, we may be able to assist you. Please email us or call 1-800-234-7792 (available 24 hours a day) to request a consultation.