How do I choose the best social security lawyer?
It’s not an easy question to answer.
Choosing a disability lawyer can be difficult because there are so many things to consider! The attorney charges, their experience, and how often they win cases are just a few factors to keep in mind.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s up to you to find the lawyer who best fits your needs and budget. So, how can you find an attorney that’s worth your time? Read on to find out.
Ask For Referrals
First, ask your friends and family members if they know a social security lawyer in your area. If they do, ask them if they could recommend that specific person to you.
People generally only refer attorneys who are trustworthy and knowledgeable in their specific field of work or expertise. This is also a great way to find out about the cost of hiring a said lawyer and how much the lawyer will charge for every month. You might even qualify for some referral discount; it never hurts to ask.
Do Your Homework
If you aren’t able to secure any referrals, don’t stress it. You can always do a little bit of online searching to see who locals are using. However, be careful when you’re reading online reviews. Don’t let 1 or 2 bad reviews scare you away. Instead, read at least 10 of them. If you see a pattern of consistent bad appraisals, it’s probably best to avoid that attorney.
Also, look into any favorable reviews and read between the lines. You can learn about an attorney from how they professionally deal with their clients over time on social media.
Every lawyer has some online presence these days, even if it’s just a Facebook account. While reading more of their online posts, try to figure out if the attorney keeps up with things or is distracted or something else?
What kind of vibe do they give off through what little you’ve seen on their social media? Do they seem like someone who pays close enough attention to detail when it comes down to it? These are essential questions to consider, and they’ll go a long way towards securing the right person.
Local Bar Association Website
What’s next? You can also try going to a local bar association’s website and look for any complaints against the attorneys you are interested in.
This is a great way to weed out lawyers who went beyond the call of duty to ensure their client was well taken care of. You’ll also be able to spot those who weren’t quite as helpful or transparent with their clients. While this might take a little bit of time, it’ll be worth it!
Social Security Lawyer Questions to Ask
Next, knowing the right questions to ask can help a lot when finding a local lawyer. Once you’ve found a few people/lawyers you’re interested in, contact them and ask a few questions about what they specialize in.
When you call, you might wind up speaking to an assistant or paralegal at the legal practice. Don’t worry about that all—it’s perfectly okay! If this happens, make sure to ask your questions anyways.
Once you’ve talked through the specifics of your case with them, see if they’re able to answer any social security-related questions you might have as well. If they can’t give social security-related answers straight away, then that person is probably not the right lawyer for you.
After all, answering social security questions shouldn’t be too time-consuming for someone who practices social security law every day. The more answers you have about stabilizing your income, the brighter your financial future will be!
What Are Your Case Specifics?
Your social security needs aren’t the same as everyone else’s. Perhaps you’re seeking legal help because you’re disabled, and you need to claim those benefits. Or maybe your case is a bit more complicated, like relating to a disability denial or SSI benefits. Either way, make sure you tell the lawyer upfront all the specifics of your case before you hire them to do any work for you.
This will help both parties see if they are a good fit for each other. It might take some time, but it’s worth it in the long run! After all, this is someone who will be representing your interests and fighting on your behalf. Make sure they have the requisite experience to do the job.
Look for an attorney that has a ton of experience. Specifically, they should have experience handling social security cases.
Depending on your situation, the extensive experience might not matter either way. However, if you have a complex case with many moving parts, then chances are good that you’ll need someone with some experience under their belt. There’s no point in hiring an attorney who isn’t ready to handle your case correctly.
After all, do you want a first-timer on your side or a veteran with decades of experience? Think about it!
Prosecuting or Defense?
The last thing to consider is whether you need someone who specializes in going after disability claims or if they should specialize in defending denials.
What’s the difference? Well, if you’re already facing an SSI denial and you want to appeal the decision, then someone familiar with disability appeals will be more helpful. On the other hand, if you’re seeking benefits and haven’t had any luck so far, maybe someone who knows how to claim benefits can help move things along.
Just bear in mind that your case might not be typical of someone else’s. Always consider what’s best for your specific situation.
What Are Your Costs?
Another question you might ask is how much it would cost for them to represent your case. Ensure that you know if their services are free or if this will involve you paying some nonrefundable fee under certain circumstances.
Some lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, which means they get paid only if they win your case. If this happens, be prepared to pay a percentage of any money you receive as part of your settlement or award after all is said and done.
Of course, this isn’t always the case! So make sure you’re clear about fees upfront before anything else occurs. Other lawyers charge an hourly rate for their services. If this is the case, make sure to ask what rate they charge and exactly how long it may take them to do their work for you.
It isn’t uncommon for those with social security cases to wait a while before their lawyers file anything on their behalf—after all, these types of cases can be pretty complex. So if you’re wondering why things aren’t moving as fast as expected, that might be why. Be patient and let your lawyer or legal representative work hard for you! You will reap the benefits eventually, and you’ll be happy that you didn’t rush things.
Set Up a Consultation
After finding an attorney with great reviews, and solid experience, it’s time to schedule an in-person meeting. This is the best way to ensure that you’re truly compatible with your lawyer. There are several things you can do to make this transition easier for both parties.
One great idea is scheduling a consultation in person at their office. If they don’t have an in-person meeting option, ask if you can schedule a virtual meet-up.
Your priority should be finding lawyers for social security who will work hard for you and make sure everything goes smoothly. Don’t let price get in the way of hiring greatness.
Once you’ve found the right attorney, it’s time to sign up. Make sure you know what type of contract or agreement they’ll present before signing anything. Always get any deals in writing just so there aren’t any disagreements later on.
You can always request a copy of any written agreement or contract that they might ask you to sign. That way, you’ll know for sure what it says before you get yourself into a legal bind. If you haven’t signed a contract in a while, brush up on your legal document reading skills.
Licenses and Insurance
Next, double-check that the lawyer you’re considering has a license and proper insurance coverage. How can you see their current license status? The best way is to go online and check their American Bar Association profile or whatever governing body is relevant in your state.
Please make sure that they haven’t been disbarred or suspended due to misconduct. Any negative marks might be an indication that they’re not as good as you had initially thought!
Additionally, make sure that they have proper insurance coverage. As far as the state is concerned, this should be your biggest priority (and for a good reason). If there’s an accident, you don’t want to find out that your lawyer doesn’t know how to handle things like medical bills or property damage claims!
You’ll also want to make sure that the lawyer has insurance, specifically malpractice insurance. This will protect both of you if something happens during or after your case.
Find the Best Disability Lawyer
Mission accomplished! We hope that this information will help you make an informed decision about hiring the very best social security lawyer for your case!
Remember, it’s okay if things take longer than expected. After all, picking the right disability lawyer is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. So don’t settle for anything less than superb! Ask friends for a lawyer referral today, and then set up a free consultation. For more advice, read another one of our articles.