Are you considering hiring a disability attorney? Some choose to hire an attorney after denial of Social Security disability benefits, while others elect to consult with an attorney from the beginning of the application process. No matter where you are in the disability process, seeking the guidance of a qualified disability attorney will help improve your claim’s chances.
However, your attorney should have the expertise and qualifications to handle a disability case. You also want to make sure your attorney is the right person to help you work through your unique case. When undertaking a search for the right lawyer, ask any potential attorney the following questions:
Where are You Licensed to Practice Law?
While federal law allows non-attorney representatives to handle Social Security Disability claims, representatives have far less knowledge and experience with disability case law and Social Security regulations than do attorneys. In addition, most state-sponsored programs require the knowledge of an attorney licensed to practice in that state.
Where is Your Office?
Some high-volume law firms choose to advertise in several states and maintain practices in each. An attorney located a considerable distance from your home may choose to meet remotely until the day of your hearing. If you prefer regular meetings or a more personal approach, you may want to locate a nearby firm.
How often will we discuss the case? Depending on the current stage of your disability case, your wait time to completion will vary. If the courts deny your initial claim, you may wait a year or more for a hearing with an administrative law judge. During this time, it is important your attorney remain informed regarding your medical condition to provide the best representation possible.
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How much is Your Fee?
Currently, the Social Security Administration caps attorney fees for a successful back benefits claim at 25% of the total awarded. However, attorneys differ widely regarding how they charge clients for other fees. Ask any potential attorney whether he or she bills up front or for unsuccessful claims.
Do You Handle Appeals or Federal Claims?
While most disability claims reach a resolution without the need for appeals or a federal case, you should determine whether a potential attorney is able to continue to represent you should the unlikely occur.
This is not an exhaustive list, so ask a prospective disability attorney any questions you feel could impact your case. If you need a disability attorney, in Ohio or Michigan, contact our office now at 419-843-6663 or reach out to us online. Our experienced attorneys can answer your disability-related questions or schedule an in-depth consultation to meet your needs.