Do you need a Social Security disability lawyer you can trust? Get tips and insights on how to find a good disability lawyer in this simple guide.
Finding a good disability lawyer can be a daunting task. With so many choices, it can take time to find the right one.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to ensure you find a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in disability law. It’s essential to ensure your case is handled properly.
Keep reading to discover how to find a good disability lawyer.
What Does a Disability Lawyer Do?
A qualified disability attorney will assist you through every step of the Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Income process.
A quality disability attorney will also advocate on your behalf. For example, a disability attorney will:
- File your disability application.
- Assist you in appealing denials of disability.
- Obtain relevant medical records and evidence.
- Communicate effectively with the SSA on your behalf.
- Represent you at a disability hearing if your case requires it.
- Ensure you meet deadlines associated with your disability claim.
- Ensure you meet all requirements and requests for documentation.
- Help you craft a compelling narrative that accurately supports your unique situation.
- Help you develop a case strategy for ensuring the success of your case.
5 Reasons to Hire a Disability Lawyer
If your disability has made it difficult to work, hiring a Social Security disability lawyer can help you get much-deserved financial assistance.
Here are the top reasons to consider hiring a disability lawyer:
- Potentially get benefits faster and easier – An experienced disability attorney knows the process and what’s required. There’s no learning curve. Let your attorney do the work on your behalf.
- Your attorney will present your case in the best light – An experienced disability attorney will work diligently to handle your case correctly.
- Your attorney will represent you at a disability hearing – If you receive a denial, your attorney will help you appeal this decision. They will also present your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
- Your attorney will gather all required medical records and evidence on your behalf – Let your disability attorney handle all the necessary medical documentation to support your disability claim.
- Your attorney will help evaluate your case and create an effective strategy – An experienced disability attorney will assess your case and the odds of getting approved the first time. They will also craft a case strategy to improve those odds.
How to Find a Good Disability Lawyer (9 Easy Ways)
It’s essential to do your research and ask lots of questions. Consider the lawyer’s qualifications, experience, and track record.
Taking the time to find the right lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Here are ways to find a good disability lawyer:
1. Ask People for Recommendations
Ask friends or family if they have experience with a disability lawyer. They may have a recommendation or know someone who knows a disability lawyer.
You can also ask your medical team. They may have a partnership or a referral agreement with disability attorneys.
2. Read Online Client Reviews and Testimonials
Search for a prospective attorney online. Look for client reviews, testimonials, and success stories.
You can find online reviews for lawyers and law firms on their websites, social media, Google Reviews, and various review websites like findlaw.com.
Look for both positive and negative feedback from current and former clients. Reading feedback is an excellent way to gather information before you call a particular attorney.
3. Check Attorney Referral Services
Attorney referral services are an excellent source of information about legal professionals. Several services like Lawyer Legion carefully screen each attorney they list.
4. Check Your State’s Bar Association Website
Every state has a Bar Association. Your state’s Bar Association website will have links to qualified disability attorneys in your specific area. Search your state + Bar Association.
There are also free lawyer directories. You can search by location and area of law to get detailed information about lawyers.
For example, check out:
5. Contact a Prospective Lawyer and Ask Questions
The best way to determine if an attorney is right for you is to meet with them and ask questions. Contact a prospective law firm or attorney and ask questions.
Be prepared and write your top questions ahead of time. Here are questions you may want to ask:
- Are you a licensed Social Security disability lawyer?
- Do you specialize in Social Security disability claims?
- Do you have prior experience with similar cases or medical conditions?
- What is your approval rate?
- What are my chances of getting approved?
- Will you help me gather the required medical records and evidence?
- How will we discuss my case before the hearing?
- Are there out-of-pocket expenses?
- How does your fee arrangement work?
- Do you have a staff of specialists to assist you?
A good law firm should be willing and able to answer these basic questions. Evans Disability offers a free consultation to get your questions answered.
6. Ask the Lawyer About Their Approval Rates
Ask a prospective attorney about their approval rates for disability claims. For example, here are questions to ask:
- What is your overall approval rate?
- What is your approval rate at the application level?
- What is your approval rate at the hearings level?
- What percentage of your wins are for full benefits?
- What percentage of your wins are for partial benefits?
A good law firm should be willing and able to share these statistics.
7. Be Cautious of Lawyers Who Promise Outcomes
Be cautious of disability attorneys who promise or guarantee favorable outcomes. It’s unethical and unfair to you to guarantee the approval of benefits.
A good attorney will review the facts and give you an honest assessment of your case.
8. Look for a High Level of Professionalism
Professionalism is critical when considering a disability lawyer. Here are things to look for when talking to a prospective attorney:
- You received a timely return call and a chance to ask questions
- You feel comfortable speaking with the person
- The attorney seems knowledgeable and willing to help
- The attorney treats you with respect and is not judgmental
An attorney who represents themselves in an unprofessional manner will likely treat your case the same way.
9. Check the Law Firm’s Website for Awards and Accreditations
Visit a prospective law firm and look for awards, membership, and accreditation badges that bolster their credibility.
Law firms will display these award badges on the homepage to establish credibility and trust. For example, badges for bar memberships or Better Business Bureau accreditation.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Disability?
Disability applications do not require an attorney’s assistance. You can take on the entire process and represent yourself at a disability hearing.
However, disability claims are typically complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’re already dealing with a disability. They often require the knowledge and skill of an experienced disability lawyer.
What Are Chances of Winning Disability with a Lawyer?
The chances of obtaining disability benefits with a lawyer are higher than without one. However, the odds also depend on your unique case, supporting medical evidence, the state, and the ALJ.
The national approval average without a lawyer is about 32% at the initial application level. The approval chances drop to about 15% at the appeal level.
However, the odds increase to about 62% nationally for those with a disability attorney. A case study by the Federal Government Accountability Office found claimants who hired a disability attorney had a nearly three times greater chance of success.
Note: Visit the SSA website to view annual statistical reports on the Social Security Disability programs.
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability with a Lawyer?
It depends on your specific circumstances on how long it will take to obtain disability benefits with an attorney.
In some cases, it can be as short as a few weeks. But in other cases, it could take up to two years if you have to appeal a decision and attend a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
How Much Does a Disability Lawyer Cost?
Social Security attorneys work on a “contingency” basis. This means your attorney will only get paid if you receive approval for your disability claim.
Your attorney does not charge you anything during the disability application process. This includes disability hearings, appeals, and collecting medical records.
What Is the Most a Disability Lawyer Can Charge?
You and your attorney can agree on any fee as long as it does not exceed $6,000 or 25% of your back pay, whichever is less. This fee limit is part of Social Security law. In most cases, an attorney can’t charge more than that.
Typically, the Social Security Administration will pay your attorney directly from your “back pay.” Back pay is past-due benefits owed to you. These payments cover the period you were medically qualified for disability benefits but have not yet been approved to collect them.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer at Evans Disability
The attorneys at Evans Disability specialize in disability claims. We will champion your case throughout the entire process. Call us today at (855) 503-0101.