How do I find a good social security disability lawyer?
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long and complicated process. Many applicants choose to retain an attorney to help them navigate the application process. So how do you find a good lawyer for you?
Do I need a lawyer to apply for Social Security disability?
You can absolutely apply for Social Security disability on your own if you so choose. However, getting the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in Social Security disability has proven advantages. A 2017 survey of Social Security disability applicants showed that those who hired a lawyer to help them through the application and appeal process were eventually approved for benefits at a 60% rate, while those who did not hire a lawyer only successfully received approval for benefits at a 34% rate. About two-thirds of initial applications for disability are denied. Hiring a lawyer for the appeal hearing more than doubled an applicant’s chances of success.
How much does a Social Security disability lawyer cost?
If you’re worried about the cost of hiring an attorney, you can relax. Social Security attorneys work on contingency. This means that if you win your case, the lawyer will be awarded a set percentage of the amount of back pay that you are awarded. If you are ultimately denied disability benefits, then you don’t have to pay anything. The amount that your lawyer is paid will be agreed upon between attorney and client, but it must be approved by Social Security, which will pay the attorney directly if you win. The attorney’s fee cannot be more than 25% of your back pay, or $6,000, whichever is less.
How do I choose a disability lawyer?
So once you’ve decided to hire a Social Security disability attorney to help you, how do you find a good one? There are a number of resources you can use to choose an attorney, and you should consider as many of them as possible. If you happen to know anyone personally who has been through the Social Security disability application process and hired an attorney for their case, you may want to ask them about the lawyer they used. Also, consider asking them if they might have chosen a different attorney or if they have any suggestions about what to look for in a lawyer.
Of course, the internet is a great resource for reviews of all kinds of goods and services, so you may wish to research SSDI lawyers in your area to benefit from previous clients’ experiences. You can also ask your state bar association or a legal aid clinic for recommendations. Regardless of the method you choose, before hiring an attorney, it’s a good idea to ask some questions and get a feel for whether a particular lawyer is the right fit for you.
According to lawyer Ghitterman, you should try to choose an attorney with a good reputation and track record, as well as a good sense of ethics. A lawyer should never promise to win your case since they can’t guarantee such a thing. You should ask if your lawyer has experience with cases similar to yours. Ask about the percentage of cases that they win, and get a clear idea of who would be working on your case and what to expect regarding communication between you and your lawyer. Once you feel comfortable with the answers you’re getting, you’ll know that an attorney is a good choice for you.
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