When researching Social Security Disability, a disabled adult’s first question is often “do I need a lawyer to get disability?” That’s because the lion’s share of the online content and guidance about Social Security Disability programs is produced by Social Security Disability lawyers. And since disability attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, many claimants use their services since there’s no upfront fee required and no fee at all if their claim isn’t successful.
Given the above, most claimants consider hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer to represent them during the claims process. Below we outline what you need to know about hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer.
Three Tips for Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security’s largest programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are complex. Most initial applications for these programs are denied. And even successful claimants face waiting times in excess of 18 months before receiving benefits. The wait time is exacerbated by staffing shortages and Social Security field offices closing for in-person services due to Covid-19.
Below, we’ve listed our top three tips for hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer.
- Read their online reviews. Today, all it takes to learn more about a disability lawyer is a quick Google search with the name of the firm you’re considering hiring and their location near you. Remember that not every client a disability lawyer represents will be successful, but that’s not necessarily an indication that a disability lawyer isn’t good at their job. When you’re reading reviews, keep in mind that every individual’s claim is unique and instead of looking for successful claims only, place high value on reviews emphasizing a lawyer’s accessibility, competence, and general professionalism.
- Ask your disability lawyer about their approach to case management. Disability claims take a long time to resolve. To avoid a negative experience, it’s important to understand how a disability lawyer and their case management team communicates with their clients. Every firm is unique. Some disability lawyers are more hands-on and may talk to their clients many times throughout the course of their claim. Others may have case managers and administrative staff handling all client communication. Disability lawyers often manage a large caseload, and each will have their own approach for managing client communication. If you feel confident with your lawyer and how they communicate, it’s up to you to choose which style is best for you.
- Check Social Security’s ‘Compassionate Allowance’ List before you hire a lawyer. The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowance List (CAL) is one avenue claimants use to expedite their claim. The CAL applies to individuals living with extremely severe impairments who would obviously meet SSA’s definition of disability. To determine if your medical condition qualifies, visit the CAL at this link. And, consider contacting your local Social Security field office for assistance or asking a local disability lawyer if your condition applies during a free consultation before determining if you’d like to hire them.
The Benefits of Working with a Social Security Disability Attorney
Studies show that claimants working with disability lawyers are three times more likely to have their disability claim approved. And, a recently released study found that hiring a disability lawyer can also speed up claims processing time and the probability of an allowance at initial levels.
Also, experienced disability lawyers can discourage claimants with weak cases from appealing a denied claim. This may be difficult to hear when you’re struggling to work due to a disability. But, it’s beneficial for claimants who fail to meet Social Security’s definition of disability to focus their efforts towards returning to work or supplementing their claim with better medical evidence before continuing further in the process.
This valuable legal guidance helps Social Security reserve disability resources for those who most need them. It also helps deserving claimants build a stronger claim which increases their chance for approval at a future date.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Charlotte, NC
Are you considering filing for disability benefits and looking for a Charlotte disability lawyer? If you live in Charlotte or surrounding areas and can’t work due to a mental or physical impairment, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Give us a call today at 1-877-296-1030 to request a free consultation on your claim.