Questions to Ask before Hiring a Disability Lawyer
If you need to apply for Social Security Disability, you might be considering a lawyer. A disability lawyer can be a great asset for your claim—as long as it’s the right one. (It’s an unfortunate fact that the majority of first-time disability claims are denied. However, having an attorney significantly increases your odds of success!)
Before you hire any disability lawyer, it’s important to ask a few questions! Not only should you be comfortable with the attorney, you should be confident that they will do an excellent job on your case.
What questions should you ask? Keep reading to find out!
#1 Where are you licensed to practice law?
This question is basic, but it’s important. Any attorney you hire should be licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and in good standing with state and local bar associations.
#2 How much experience do you have with SSDI cases?
Many lawyers practice in multiple areas of the law, which is fine. (Think personal injury, workers’ compensation, criminal defense, divorce, etc.)
However, Social Security Disability is a highly technical, complex field. When looking for a lawyer, it’s a good idea to find one who has extensive experience handling Social Security Disability claims—someone who works in this area of law regularly (not someone who has handled only a few cases).
It’s a good sign if the attorney has years of experience in the field and has attended continuing education and trainings on disability law. (It’s even better if Social Security Disability is their sole area of practice.)
#3 What is your fee?
Before hiring a disability lawyer, make sure you understand how you will pay for their services. What is their fee structure? Do they require you to pay up front, or will they take a percentage of your disability back benefits? And will you be required to pay any legal costs related to your claim?
A good disability lawyer will be up front about the costs associated with hiring them and fair in their fee structure.
#4 Will you handle every step of my case?
When choosing an attorney, you want to work with someone who will be there for you every step of the way—from your initial hearing, to appeals, to federal court.
Some lawyers don’t work this way: they might delegate hearings to younger, more inexperienced associates, or they might not practice in federal court. Make sure that your disability lawyer is committed to representing you throughout the entire SSDI process.
#5 What is your communication policy?
Social Security Disability cases have a lot of moving parts, making timely communication a must. A good disability lawyer should answer your questions promptly and keep you informed throughout the process. (If you spend all of your time talking to assistants or paralegals, and don’t meet or talk to your attorney until the day of your hearing, this is not a good sign.)
#6 What can you do for my case?
Ask the disability lawyer how they can help you, and what you can expect from the Social Security Disability process. If you hire them, how will they develop the evidence needed to prove your claim? How will they help you prepare for your hearing? How will they argue your case?
A qualified disability attorney should look at your unique situation, assess the strength of your case, and give you an idea of what to expect from the SSDI process.
#7 Ask Yourself…
Finally, when asking these questions, pay attention to how the lawyer treats you. Do they seem annoyed to have to answer your questions, or do they seem happy that you care enough to do your homework? Do they give you a lot of helpful information, or do they seem less than straightforward? The answer to these questions will likely tell you a lot about the care and attention they’ll put toward your case.
Find a disability lawyer that treats you and your case with the respect that you deserve!
Contact Us Today
Do you need help with your disability claim? If so, we are here for you. We understand how frustrating and overwhelming the Social Security Disability process can be, which is why we are committed to being present for you every step of the way. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to your needs!
The lawyers at Casper & Casper have practiced disability law for decades. We know the ins and outs of disability law, and we use our extensive experience and knowledge to increase your odds of winning your case.
To speak with a skilled disability lawyer at Casper & Casper, please give us a call. We would be happy to meet you at the location that is most convenient for you; we have offices in Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, and Middletown.
Contact us today!