The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides several assistance programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
An individual can receive both, but it’s essential to know the difference between the two financial assistance programs. In a nutshell, SSI is determined based on age/disability and limited income and resources. Meanwhile, disability and work credits are the basis for SSDI determination.
Now, if you want to file an SSI or SSDI claim, it helps to have the right disability lawyer in your corner. Here, we’ll share some tips you can use when looking for a disability attorney.
Important: Pre-Qualify Yourself
Before you immerse yourself into researching how to find the right disability lawyer, you’ll save time and effort by pre-qualifying yourself. That means understanding the basics of Social Security. (You can find more info about this).
If you’re claiming disability, be sure you paid into Social Security. You can only get monthly benefits checks if you’ve worked Social Security-covered jobs.
Now, if you paid into Social Security but didn’t receive your benefits checks, you need to check if your medical condition is considered a disability under Social Security’s rules. If Social Security denied your claim, you should consider using a disability lawyer.
Begin Your Search for a Disability Lawyer
One of the best tips for finding a disability lawyer is to put together a list. You can ask for recommendations from family and friends. Or you can go online and search for “disability lawyers near me” or similar key phrases.
Once you have a list, call each name and pay attention to how their staff treats you. Don’t take it as a bad sign if you didn’t get to speak with an attorney.
Disability firms are often busy. What’s important is you get to talk to a representative who can answer your questions and schedule you for a free consultation with the firm’s disability lawyer.
Ask the Right Questions
To check if you’re talking to an ethical attorney, you can ask, “Will my claim be approved?” or “Can you make the approval faster?” If that lawyer says yes to both, it’s a sign you should look for another attorney.
A good disability lawyer will never make promises about getting claims approved. He or she will also be honest about their limitations. Remember, no attorney can make the approval process go faster.
It would be best if you also asked about their overall approval rate. How many clients received full benefits, and how many were awarded only partial benefits? Beyond checking their credentials and specialization, be sure to find out how they handle cases.
Will you have a case manager? How often will they update you on the progress of your case? Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you can until you’re sure you can trust that law office to represent your case to the best of their abilities.
Do You Need Legal Help?
After pre-qualifying yourself and being sure why you need the best disability lawyer, have you already put together a list of potential attorneys?
If you still need more info on hiring a lawyer, you can check out our other posts. We also have articles on disability that you might find interesting.