It is not always required to hire an attorney to represent your disability case in court. However, disability claimants who an experienced lawyer guides increase the likelihood of getting benefits. This is especially useful at the hearing level. Therefore, if you are choosing to hire a lawyer, you need to keep certain things in mind that will help you select the appropriate legal assistance.
Factors To Consider Before Hiring A Disability Lawyer
One of the vital factors to be considered before hiring a disability attorney is professionalism and courtesy. You must focus on the professionalism of the lawyer and their law firm. You must check on the timely callbacks. Along with this, you also must have the opportunity to ask questions regarding how many work credits you will require for SSDI or how many times you can apply for the benefits. Some other factors that you need to consider are as follows:
- Consultation with the attorney
- Outcome promises
- Approval rates
- Office and case management
- Attorney Credentials
- Special Knowledge of Your Condition
- Consultation with the attorney
- Children’s Cases
Consultation With The Attorney
As attorneys have experience at the hearing level, they will speak well. However, there may be times when you are asked to speak to a staff member of their disability law firm. They will organize a free consultation with the attorney if they are a good firm. During the consultation, you can discuss their time constraints and other crucial factors that may be important for the case in the future.
The attorney who promises to win the case or any guarantee for a successful outcome is unethical and unfair. A good legal professional will give you an honest review of the case after reviewing the facts and completing the case evaluation. They will also suggest the period for the case with an honest assessment. Some questions that you can ask at this point are:
- Will my disability claim be approved or rejected? I cannot give you an assurance that you will win and will point out the strengths and weaknesses in the case. However, I will search for different ways to help improve your approval of the case. (Learn more about How To Get Started For Disability Claims 101 for SSDI and SSI?)
- Can you work to get faster results? I cannot do anything to speed up the disability process as they have their time limit. However, deadlines will be met, and forms will be submitted on time.
You should ask some questions, such as an attorney or firm staff member, about their approval rate. Some of the queries that you need to clarify are:
- What is your law firm’s overall approval rate?
- What percentage of approvals take place at the hearing level?
- What portion of your win are complete benefits?
- What portion of your wins is for partial benefits?
- An experienced firm should be willing to share the statistics.
Office and Case Management
There must be a law firm staff member who is always present to answer your questions. They must give you case updates regularly. Some questions you must ask on how the case needs to be handled are as follows:
- What kind of support staff do they have?
- Will you have your case manager or not?
- Is there any paralegal in the firm?
- Can they advance the cost of medical records?
- How often will they get a call from their case manager?
Credentials play a pivotal role when considering an attorney for a disability claim. A reputable disability attorney should possess the necessary legal qualifications, such as relevant law degrees, licenses, and memberships in professional associations. These credentials demonstrate their expertise and adherence to ethical standards.
- How many years of experience do you have?
- Does your law firm has license in all the states you practice
- Number of cases you handle in the year?
- Does your law firm take additional training?
Special Knowledge of Your Condition
Specialization or special knowledge related to your specific medical condition is crucial. An attorney with expertise in cases similar to yours is better equipped to navigate the complexities of disability law, understand medical evidence, and effectively advocate for your specific needs.
Children’s cases require a unique understanding of the legal intricacies of representing minors. A competent disability attorney should be well-versed in child disability claims, considering the distinct challenges and regulations associated with these cases. They should prioritize the child’s best interests, ensuring the legal strategy aligns with their needs and circumstances.
Seeking references or testimonials from previous clients can offer valuable insights into the attorney’s track record, professionalism, and success in handling SSDI or SSI disability claims. Positive references testify to the attorney’s competence and dedication to securing favorable outcomes for their clients.