Individuals who are no longer able to complete their normal job duties due to a serious injury or illness may apply for Social Security disability insurance. This assistance allows them to meet financial obligations until they are able to return to work.
However, qualifying for these payments can be difficult. For this reason, many people turn to a Social Security disability lawyer to help them with their claim.
These claims take time to resolve, with some people finding their case drags on for years. The attorney works to get the claim approved in the shortest time. When meeting with attorneys to choose one to handle the claim, a person needs answers to the following questions.
What is the Attorney’s Experience with SSI Claims?
Experience is important if you need an SSI attorney. This type of claim is very technical. The attorney must have certain skills to prove the claim.
They must thoroughly review the medical records to uncover facts to support the client’s claim. When doing so, the attorney needs to be familiar with current SSI laws and regulations.
The attorney may be called to go before an administrative law judge and must be comfortable when doing so. During this meeting with the judge, the attorney might have the opportunity to question vocational and medical witnesses. They must be prepared to do so.
This knowledge of SSI claims benefits the client. They feel comfortable knowing the attorney won’t overlook anything when working to prove their claim.
What Tools Will the Attorney Use?
Attorneys learn the basics of law in school. However, once they finish their education, they have more leeway when it comes to handling cases. Many attorneys use a variety of tools when handling a claim.
Medical professionals may complete a medical source statement. This statement provides information on any limitations the client has as a result of the disability.
Wounded warriors and terminal patients may request an expedited hearing, and the attorney may request an earlier hearing date.
The attorney may also request a consultative exam. In this scenario, a medical expert is called to examine the disabled individual. After this exam, the expert offers direction regarding the individual’s diagnosis, what their prognosis is, and any restrictions they may have.
Vocational evaluations are helpful in many SSI cases. This evaluation, completed by an expert in workplace skills and occupations, provides information on the impact the disability has on the person’s ability to work.
The tools used vary by the case. An attorney should review the case and determine which tools will be of most benefit in proving the extent of the disability and its effect on the person’s life.
What Fees Will Be Charged?
Every person needs to know how much they will be charged when working with an attorney. The Social Security Administration caps the amount an attorney can charge when helping a person with their claim.
The maximum amount currently allowed by law is 25 percent of the past due benefits owed to the recipient. This is capped at the statutory maximum. This means the client will either pay the attorney the 25 percent or $6,000, whichever is the lesser of the two.
However, the client must know if the law has changed. They should have this information when meeting with an attorney to guarantee they are getting the correct information.
Other questions should be asked when meeting with Social Security disability lawyers. Learn about preferred communication methods, their familiarity with various medical conditions, how often they need to appeal a claim, and more.
Gather as much information as possible before choosing an attorney to ensure the right selection is made for this important legal case. Doing so provides the claimant with peace of mind as the process moves forward.