The reality is that most social security disability claims are denied initially. Hiring a disability lawyer does not affect the outcome much at the outset. However, if the claim is sent in for reconsideration and the claimant is represented by a lawyer, the chances of success are greater.
There are some factors that need to be taken into consideration when hiring a disability lawyer:
First and foremost it is important to ensure that the lawyer is qualified to practice disability or social security law. It is even better if the lawyer has some experience in other relevant areas of the law such as worker’s compensation or medicare. These additional skills should be related to your specific case.
The more qualifications and experience a lawyer has, the better representation they will be able to offer. You can check with the bar association or law societies and organisations to determine what qualifications a lawyer has or even to find a disability lawyer.
You want a lawyer who adheres to a strong code of morals and ethics and who has a good reputation within the field they practice in. This can be a little more difficult to determine than simply checking qualifications.
Although the lawyer will not be able to provide you with previous client’s names or case details, they will be able to give you testimonials that client’s have agreed to share. They may also provide you with information regarding their success rate at getting disability claims awarded. You can also go to sites like the McCarthy Smith Law Blog to see if they have any reviews.
It may not seem like an important factor but it is essential to ensure that you feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose in order to build a good relationship with them. However, it is just as important to ensure that the lawyer will be able to provide adequate representation and be tough enough to support you and your case throughout the process.
A good disability lawyer should treat you with respect and professionalism as well as display a certain amount of empathy towards you and your case.
4. The Cost
Hiring a lawyer can be a costly exercise. In most cases, a disability lawyer will ask for an upfront payment that will cover all the costs of the case as well as their own fees. This is called a retainer. Be aware that additional costs may arise during the claiming process.
5. When To Hire A Disability Lawyer
As mentioned above, most claims will be denied at the outset whether you have legal representation or not. It is therefore recommended to only hire a disability lawyer if your claim has been denied. This will save you money on lawyer’s fees and other expenses. If you do not have funds to hire a lawyer, find out if you qualify for free legal aid.
Remember that even if you do have a lawyer to represent you when your disability claim is sent for reconsideration, there is no guarantee that it will be successful.