If you have a disability and/or severe medical condition, and you think you may be out of work for at least 12 months, you might be wondering whether you should hire a disability lawyer to help you with your disability benefits claim. Hiring and working with a disability lawyer may give you a better chance of being awarded social security disability benefits (SSDI). If you do decide to use the help of a disability lawyer, here is a list of the top 5 things you should know about social security disability lawyers.
1. Social Security Disability Lawyers Do Not Charge an Upfront Fee
Social security disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay them if you win your claim. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) must approve all fee agreements between claimants and attorneys. The normal limit for the attorney’s fee is 25% of the “backpay,” or $6,000, depending on whichever value is less. Social security disability lawyers are not allowed to charge more than $6,000 regardless of how much your claim is. If you don’t win any back pay at all, your attorney will not receive any fee. However, sometimes, the lawyer may petition the SSA to request a fee. When your claim has been settled, the SSA can pay the attorney directly, so you are not involved in any transactions.
Most attorneys often ask you to pay out-of-pocket expenses when taking on your case. Some of these out-of-pocket expenses include the costs for filing your application as well as obtaining both medical and work records. Additionally, you may be responsible for paying any required medical examinations that are requested by your doctor.
2. Your Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help You Submit Medical Evidence
Medical evidence is the key to winning any disability claim. The more persuasive the medical evidence you have to backup your claim, the more likely you are to get disability benefits. Your social security disability lawyer can help work you and your doctor to make sure you have all the medical evidence you need to show the SSA that you are unable to work because of your disability.
3. Social Security Lawyers Can Help You Through the Appeals Process
If often takes a while before someone is approved for SSDI benefits. This is especially true if your initial application is denied because you may have to through various appeals processes, in which your social security disability lawyer can help guide you through that process.
4. Your Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Argue Your Case on Your Behalf at an ALJ Hearing
If your disability benefits claim ends up going to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing, your lawyer could argue your case to the ALJ judge, and set up any witnesses to speak on your behalf, to help you get the disability benefits you deserve.
5. Your Chances Of Getting Disability Increases When Working With a Lawyer
It’s hard to navigate the Social Security application and appeals process by yourself. As such, working with a lawyer can be extremely helpful. This is because your lawyer has substantial knowledge—likely gained through the rigorous law school curriculum as well as professional work experience—about how everything works. Ultimately, working with a social security disability lawyer can give you the best chance of getting the disability benefits you deserve.
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