Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Disability Lawyer
1. Do NOT hire an out-of-state law firm. Large out-of-state law firms spends thousands of dollars advertising on TV and the Internet. Their # 1 goal is to make a profit. They do not allow you to have a personal relationship with an attorney. In my opinion, they do not provide the level of legal services I believe you are entitled to.
2. If you look for a lawyer online, avoid the middle men. In recent years, “brokers” have arisen. They spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads and dominate the 1st page. They look like law firms but they are not. They are middle men who take your contact and try to sell it to lawyers. Avoid them.
3. Do NOT call the 1st attorney you find on the Internet. Research the attorney before hiring him/her. Read their website. Where did they go to school? How many years experience do they have? What types of law do they practice?
4. Do NOT hire a lawyer who is inexperienced in Social Security disability appeals. This is a narrow area of the law. The rules, regulations, and procedures are unique to Social Security disability appeals.
5. Do NOT hire a lawyer until you have met the lawyer in person. Many lawyers do not meet with new clients because it takes time and reduces their profit margin per case. If an attorney is not willing to meet with you in person before getting hired, keep looking.
6. Avoid non-attorney claims representatives. Hire an attorney who has been licensed to practice law in the State where you live. There is no comparison between the legal education of an attorney and someone who is not an attorney. Also, non-attorneys cannot file federal appeals.
7. By all means do NOT meet your lawyer for the 1st time on the day of the Hearing. I see that all the time. It is a terrible practice. In my opinion it is malpractice.
8. There are essentially two types of disability lawyers out there. The 1st group are business men and women. Their primary objective is to make money and they view disability law as a means to do that. The 2nd group are men and women who are called to serve a higher purpose and they view disability law as a means to do that. You will be better served by lawyers in the 2nd group.
9. Before filing for disability, talk with your doctor. If your doctor supports your disability case, it is more likely you will find a good attorney to accept your case.
10. Only hire a lawyer who is a member of NOSSCR. NOSSCR stands for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives. Most experienced disability lawyers are members of NOSSCR
Lastly, before filing call SSA’s toll free # (800) 772-1213 and find out the amount of your monthly disability benefits. Assume you will live to be 85 years old. Calculate the amount of disability benefits you will get over your lifetime if you win your case. Usually it is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now you can see why it is so important that you find a skilled and experienced disability lawyer.
Good luck to you.