Questions to Ask an SSDI Lawyer
Injury and illness can strike at any time. Navigating the state and federal disability insurance process can be an overwhelming experience. You need smart, effective, and understanding representation to make sure that you secure the maximum benefits available to you and avoid any behavior that could damage your eligibility. Below, we discuss a few questions you should ask when searching for an SSDI lawyer. If you have become disabled due to accident or illness and need help pursuing SSDI or SSI benefits, reach out to a seasoned and knowledgeable California social security disability attorney for help getting the coverage you deserve.
What You Need to Know About Your SSDI Lawyer in Your First Meeting
When you are vetting a potential SSDI lawyer, it is important to ensure that your prospect is experienced in the right area of law, that they charge a fee reasonable to you, and that they operate their practice in a way that comports with your need as a client. Along those lines, we recommend asking the following questions, at a minimum, when vetting your SSDI lawyer or during your initial consultation:
- What is your fee structure? How much do you expect I will pay? Different lawyers have different fee structures. You need a clear picture of the attorney’s cost before you sign on.
- Where is your office located? If you are facing disability, chances are you have limited mobility. Also, even though you may be seeking federal benefits, it is important to hire an attorney located within the state. Make sure you can meet your attorney face-to-face before your hearing.
- Are you a licensed attorney? How many years have you practiced? Social security actually allows non-lawyers to advocate for SSI applicants. We strongly advise retaining an actual lawyer to help with your legal proceeding.
- Do you have specialized training in disability law? Many attorneys operate general practices, and a jack of all trades is a master of none. You need to ensure that your lawyer knows the ins and outs of disability law, specifically, in order to represent your interests the best. You should also make sure they understand cases like yours, especially if you present a more unique and complicated case.
- What case-related expenses will I be responsible for covering? Will I owe them regardless of the outcome? Your case may involve securing medical testimony, collecting medical records and other documents, and filing various court documents. Make sure you are clear ahead of time what costs you will be covering and whether you will be expected to cover those costs even if you lose.
- Do you handle federal cases? Your final hearing may be in federal court if your application is denied at all other administrative levels. It is important to retain an attorney who knows their way around federal courts.
- How do you communicate with clients? Will you be in touch after an initial denial? Communication is essential in any attorney-client relationship. If your initial application and appeal are denied, it may take months to get another hearing date. It is important to know that your advocate will be ready and willing to keep in touch with you even between hearings so that you can continue to prep your case and do whatever is necessary to raise your chances of eligibility.
Call Today for Immediate Assistance with a California Disability Claim
For assistance with a claim for disability benefits in southern California or statewide, call Drake & Drake at 818-914-4055.