Social Security Disability (SSD) is a program designed to ensure those with life-limiting medical conditions have the resources they need to support themselves. However, to obtain SSD, there's a complex process of claims and appeals. To help you find the right disability lawyer to handle such a sensitive and personal matter, ask the following questions before hiring.
Important Questions to Ask a Disability Lawyer
1. Are You a Licensed Attorney?
The Social Security Administration lets non-attorney advocates represent claimants, so make sure the person you're working with is a licensed disability lawyer. A non-attorney advocate won't have the same level of education and experience as a lawyer, so the scope of their knowledge is typically limited in comparison.
2. Who Will Handle My Case?
At a small law firm, you'll likely deal with the attorney you met at the initial consultation. However, at larger firms, there are often other staff members who will work on your case. As a client, you should know who is working on your behalf and how to contact them if necessary.
3. How Much Do You Charge?
Under federal regulations, your attorney is entitled to 25% of the retroactive benefits, to a maximum of $6,000, whichever is less. There are no attorney fees if you do not receive benefits.
If your attorney advances costs, on your behalf, such as what your medical care providers charge to copy and mail updated medical records for use in your appeal, you are responsible for reimbursing your attorney for any costs your attorney advances for you.
Be sure to review and understand the fee agreement you sign to hire your attorney.
4. Have You Represented Cases Like Mine Before?
No two disability claims are totally alike, but the lawyer you hire should have experience successfully representing disabled clients in the past. If the focus of the firm is mostly on disability and personal injury law, you can be confident they have the background to handle your case.
If you’re looking for a qualified disability lawyer, reach out to Stine & Associates, P.C. in Greensburg, PA. They have more than 20 years of experience representing clients throughout Westmoreland County, and they’ll answer all your questions to help you make empowered decisions. Attorney Cindy Stine and her team offer legal services in both disability claims and personal and work injury cases. To schedule a consultation, call (724) 837-0160 or reach out online.