Though you are not legally required to hire a lawyer to represent you in your social security disability case, statistics prove that disability claimants represented by an experienced attorney have a higher chance of getting approved for benefits. Once you choose to get legal representation, there are essential things to consider when choosing good social security disability lawyers. These include:
Courtesy and professionalism
When you call a potential lawyer, please pay attention to how they treat you and the level of professionalism. Disability law firms are generally busy places. Even if you don’t want to respond to your call at the moment, you should get a timely callback and be offered the chance to get your questions and concerns addressed. Avoid law firms or lawyers who don’t bother to call back or talk to you rudely.
Access to an experienced lawyer
Do not be put off if you cannot speak to the lawyer the first time you make a call or if you are requested to speak to one of the law firm’s junior staff members for help with a question or concern. This is because most experienced disability lawyers spend much of their time in court hearings and depend on their paralegals to address field calls. But a good law firm will allow you to schedule a free consultation session with the disability lawyer.
Due to the lawyer’s time constraints, it is not uncommon for most law firms to limit the period of these consultation sessions to 15 minutes or 30 minutes. During the initial consultation, have a list of the questions you intended to ask, find out if the lawyer is available to handle your case, and don’t forget to ask about the cost of the services provided.
The lawyer’s credentials
A lawyer does not need to be licensed to represent you at social security disability hearings. Your representative may not be a lawyer at all. But a licensed lawyer has a better understanding of disability-related laws. After all, licensed lawyers spent several years getting special training on how to read and interpret various statutes and case laws.
If you intend to hire a social security disability lawyer, make sure you hire a licensed professional who can practice law in federal courts in case your disability claim ever gets appealed to such a level. So, it is essential to ask specific questions to determine the lawyer’s experience in handling cases related to yours, whether or not they are licensed to practice in Oklahoma, the average number of cases they handle in a year, and other relevant aspects of the disability-related services they offer.
Finding an experienced disability lawyer isn’t challenging, particularly if you already know the specific things to keep in mind. Find an attorney who can listen to your needs, analyze them, and help you get the amount of disability benefits you are entitled to. The lawyer or law firm must have a good reputation and a high success rate.
SSLC offers a free consultation at one of our offices.