When it comes to federal aid for the disabled, the two major programs in the U.S. include the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs. The Social Security Administration bureau manages both of these programs. While they are somewhat distinct from one another, they share common ground in that they are both limited to people who are disabled and meet specific medical criteria.
In that context, if you and your eligible dependents have worked long enough and paid throughout your life in Social Security taxes, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits under Social Security’s Disability Insurance program.
However, it’s not uncommon for applicants to feel discouraged by the procedure. When you realize how unpleasant the whole process can be, this isn’t too surprising. In all likelihood, you’ve probably read more than one horror story concerning Social Security Disability if you spend any time at all in online communities or on blogs.
Sure, there are many real-life anecdotes concerning people whose claims were wrongfully refused, who had to wait years to receive benefits, who were cruelly treated during the appeals process, etc. But nevertheless, it is considerably more probable that a claim will be authorized for someone with a disability or a social security disability lawyer on their side.
If you are in such a scenario and don’t know where to start regarding finding the perfect lawyer for your SSD claim, don’t worry, as below we’ll showcase the several most important points when selecting the lawyer for your case.
Always Go With A Local SSD Lawyer
Across the United States, you can find tens of thousands of lawyers and other professionals who specialize in social security disability cases. Truth be told, from disability examiners to claims representatives, many attorneys who claim that they specialize in social security disability cases have experience working for the social security administration itself.
If you need help finding a professional attorney for your case, your local social security office can supply you with a list of nonprofits and referral services, including bar associations and legal aid organizations. For example, suppose you’re from Philadelphia. In that case, you should go with an experienced Pennsylvania social security disability lawyer who is well-versed and experienced in local laws and can help you speed up the process by which your claim is approved.
You can also find local lawyers who focus on disability claims by searching online legal directories or contacting the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives’ referral service.
Ask About Their Availability On Your Initial Consultation
The question of how easily reachable your prospective legal representative or advocate will be should be high on your list of concerns to discuss at your initial consultation. There is a high caseload for social security disability lawyers and representatives, so you definitely don’t want to go with a lawyer who already has a lot of work on their hands.
This means that some of these experts may not be able to give you the specialized care your condition requires. It’s far easier to avoid problems and miscommunication if you’re both clear on what your case needs and whether they can provide you with the required services.
In SSD Clams, Experience Is Everything
An attorney familiar with the Social Security Administration’s requirements for approval of disability claims can advise you on how to best present your case. The best way to prevent having to file an appeal is to have your paperwork double-checked by someone who has experience doing so for already-approved claims.
You should inquire as to the lawyer’s level of experience. Unfortunately, not all lawyers have sufficient experience, and not all of them are focused on social security matters. For that reason, make absolutely sure your lawyer is familiar with the ins and outs of the social security disability application procedure and the relevant regulations that apply to your case.
Speak With Friends and Relatives Who Have Or Are Presently Represented By A Disability Attorney
Referrals from friends and family are a great approach to discovering a social security disability lawyer. Clients who are satisfied with the legal representation they receive are more inclined to recommend the attorney to others. However, if a disability attorney does a poor job for a client, word will spread about them, too, and not positively. In that context, if you know somebody you trust that had a positive experience with an SSD lawyer, by all means, go ahead and hire their lawyer.
Whether or not you use legal representation to file for social security disability benefits is a personal decision you must make. No one else has the authority to decide for you. Keep in mind that if your original application for SSD benefits is denied, hiring an attorney may make the appeals process go more smoothly.
Finding a disability lawyer to assist you with your SSD case does not have to be a challenging or stressful experience. There are many attorneys available to help people in your position, so go through our four tips for selecting the best lawyer for your case and file a successful claim.