Getting Social Security Disability Lawyers
Filing for Social Security disability claim can be challenging. Applications may be denied due to several reasons. But statistics have shown that having Social Security disability lawyers can increase a claim’s chances of getting approved. Therefore, having a Social Security disability attorney may prove beneficial.
Social Security disability lawyers typically help you in filing an application and representing you during your disability hearing when you get denied for your initial claim. While having an attorney is not a requirement, they can help you accelerate and increase the success rate of your application.
Social Security Disability Lawyers for Representation
If you need representation at your Social Security disability hearing, you may choose to hire a disability lawyer or a non-lawyer advocate. What is the difference between Social Security disability lawyers and non-lawyer advocates?
Social Security disability lawyers have generally studied law and have a bachelor’s degree, a juris doctorate degree, and are admitted to a state bar. In comparison, non-attorney advocates are under the Social Security and have a bachelor’s degree or qualifications derived from related work experience and training, have passed a criminal background check, have professional liability insurance, have passed a written examination by the SSA, and have completed a series of continuing education courses.
Social Security Disability Attorney’s Fee
Maximum fee for Social Security disability lawyers is $6,000, or 25% of your past-due benefits or disability backpay. The lawyers will only be paid out of your disability backpay, which means that if you do not receive your back-dated benefits, your lawyer will not be paid.
Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer will not cost you anything, since fees will be taken out of your disability check or backpay by the SSA. However, some lawyers will require you to pay a minimum fee to cover for certain costs.
These costs may include payment for medical, school, and employment records, as well as medical or psychological records that are required from you during the representation process. Postages and copying costs may also be included. You as the client may need to pay for these costs separately from the lawyer’s fee of $6,000 or 25% of your backpay. Regardless of whether you win your disability benefits or not, your lawyer will charge you for any of these costs he/she shouldered for you.
So before hiring a Social Security disability lawyer, it is advisable to inquire about out-of-pocket costs such as those mentioned above so you would know what other expenses are included.
Ensure That You’re Hiring a Lawyer
Titles can be misleading. Some non-lawyer representatives are using titles that are almost similar with what lawyers are using. For instance, they may refer to themselves as legal representative, claimant representative, disability advocate or disability representative. When hiring a Social Security lawyer, make sure to check that he/she is a licensed attorney and that he/she is a member of the state bar.
Finding a Local Social Security Disability Lawyer
You can also look for a lawyer online. Nolo has an online platform that connects claimants with a local, licensed attorney. Simply type in the required information and the system will search for a qualified lawyer. Disability Benefits Center also has a list of Social Security disability attorneys available per state.