Hiring a lawyer is a wise decision if you are trying to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Although you do not have to get legal help, a lawyer can significantly increase your approval chances. Below, we’ll cover the most critical factors in finding an SSDI lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we have 20-plus years of experience helping SSDI applicants. We can help you find the best SSDI lawyer for you. Below are some questions to ask when looking for the best SSDI lawyer for you.
Why Hiring a Lawyer Is Important for SSDI Claims
Even though applying for SSDI or submitting an appeal isn’t a strictly legal process per se, that doesn’t mean that a lawyer can’t help you get the benefits you deserve. On top of legal representation should you need to fight for your benefits, a lawyer can ensure that you fill out your application and paperwork correctly.
You will also receive help if you get rejected and have to appeal an SSDI decision. If you don’t know where to start or how to navigate through all these processes, a lawyer is the best way to ensure you have the best chance of getting your benefits.
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The Best Way to Find a SSDI Lawyer
Nowadays, the best way to locate an SSDI lawyer to assist you with your application or appeal is through the internet. There are many law firms out there that represent SSDI applicants, but you’ll want to choose the best one that not only suits your needs but has the dedication and experience required to assist you.
Once you find a good SSDI lawyer that’s right for you, the next step before reaching out to them is to do further research about them and their firm. You should ask yourself and them several questions before you decide to retain them for their services.
Questions to Ask When Searching for a Lawyer
Here is a shortlist of a few questions you can ask. Of course, you don’t need to ask all of them, but to learn more, it’s recommended that these are the questions you try and get the answers to.
How Does the Lawyer and Their Staff Treat You?
Before hiring a lawyer, you’ll want to schedule a consultation. During the meeting, you can learn a lot about the attorney’s behavior. Pay attention to how everyone at the law firm treats you.
A good SSDI lawyer should be professional and polite. Disability law firms are often busy, and that’s okay. However, you still want to know the lawyer will listen to any questions and give your case their full attention.
Is the Lawyer Honest in Their Assessment of Your Claim?
After looking at your case, an attorney should give their honest opinion. If someone says they can guarantee approval for your SSDI claim, run the other way.
There is no way a lawyer can 100% promise an ideal outcome. An SSDI lawyer can also rarely get you approval faster. However, they should discuss how to strengthen your case after giving an honest review.
You can learn a lot by asking the attorney about your case. Ideally, they should avoid grand promises but make you feel confident in how they can help. For example, a lawyer should know how to identify your claim’s strong and weak points. They should also help you keep up with deadlines and give you the best chance at approval.
How Will the SSDI Lawyer Support You?
When you meet with an SSDI lawyer, ask them how available they can be during your case. Keep in mind that SSDI lawyers often take on large amounts of cases. As a result, they might juggle several claims at once, but they should still be accessible to you.
If you’re worried about not having enough attention on your case, discuss it with the lawyer. Communicating your worries can go a long way. You can also ask questions like:
- Who will be managing my case? How many other cases do they handle at one time?
- Do you have support staff?
- How often will I get an update on my case’s progress?
- Will you be able to request medical records for me? How do you handle the cost of this?
Even if an SSDI lawyer is busy, they should provide sufficient attention to your case. They should also listen to your concerns and be available for updates.
Does the Lawyer Have a Lot of Experience With Social Security Law?
You can have a representative when you have appeal hearings for your claim. This person can be a lawyer or a non-lawyer. However, an experienced attorney is the best choice because they understand disability law.
Ask the SSDI lawyer how much experience they have with Social Security Disability cases. You can ask about:
- Whether or not they are licensed to practice law in federal court
- How many years they have worked in disability law
- If they have received any specialized training on disability statutes
- How many cases the lawyer handles each year
- How long they have been in practice in your area
If an SSDI lawyer has been in practice for a long time, they will be familiar with local administrative law judges (ALJs) that might hear your case. Therefore, the lawyer might be able to adjust their argument based on the judge for your hearing.
Has the Attorney Worked With Conditions Similar to Yours?
Many medical conditions can qualify for SSDI. The Listing of Impairments contains conditions that might be eligible for benefits. It helps if your attorney is familiar with conditions similar to yours. Ask the SSDI lawyer how they might approach a case like yours. They might be able to provide examples of related cases that they won.
What Is the Attorney’s Approval Rate for SSDI Claims?
Getting SSDI benefits is not easy. However, it’s essential to know that your lawyer has a good track record. Ask the attorney about their approval rate for disability cases.
You might also ask questions like:
- How many cases get to the hearing level?
- How many of your clients have won complete versus partial benefits?
- What approval rate statistics can you show me?
If a law firm is happy to share its track record, it’s generally a good sign that they have had lots of success and can help you.
Can the Lawyer Provide Testimonials?
A good law firm will be fine with providing references from past clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials from other disability cases. Reading through reviews can help you better understand how good the law firm you’re considering is.
Are You Seeking Help for a Child’s SSDI Case?
Lawyers typically handle child SSDI cases differently than those for adults. If you seek legal help for a child, make sure the firm takes on children’s cases. If they don’t have much experience in that area, you might want to look elsewhere.
Does the SSDI Lawyer Offer a Free Consultation?
Good disability lawyers should not charge for the initial consultation. Instead, speak with a lawyer who will put aside time to discuss your case. Make sure the first meeting is free of charge to you.
Many SSDI lawyers are very busy. They might not have a lot of extra time, but you want someone who will sit down with you to discuss your case. Therefore, they might limit the consultation time, and that’s okay as long as they are attentive.
Get in Touch With a SSDI Lawyer Today
If you know someone who has worked with an SSDI lawyer before, ask about their experience. They might be able to offer a reference for a local lawyer. You can also utilize local directories, although they can’t target your exact needs.
At John Foy & Associates, we can connect you with the best SSDI lawyer for you at no charge. Talk to us today to discuss the details during a free consultation. There is no fee unless your lawyer wins your case. Call us or contact us online to schedule an appointment.