You have many choices when deciding who to hire as your representative on a Social Security claim. That's a good thing. Many “firms” advertise extensively on television. Some of these firms are great, and others maybe not. It’s hard to tell one from the other, and this article will help you sort out all the choices, and make the best decision for you.
Non-Attorneys v. Attorneys
The first thing you should know is that non-attorneys are allowed to represent Claimants in front of the Social Security Administration on disability appeals. There is nothing wrong with this. There are some great non-attorney representatives out there. However, when you see some advertising on television, the office you are hiring is may be hundreds of miles away, sometimes clear across the country. You have to be careful when considering whether you want somebody that far away handling such an important case. There is a lot to be said for being able to sit down face-to-face, and explain your case.
The Benefit of Experience
You have every right to ask the attorney about his or her experience handling Social Security Disability cases. Here are some good questions:
What percentage of your practice is dedicated to representing disabled claimants?
How much experience do you have handling a claim involving my particular disability?
What exactly do you do to prepare my case?
- Will they obtain your medical records?
- Will they speak with your doctor?
- Will they meet with you prior to your hearing to prepare you to testify in front of a judge?
- What about the medical records? Are they going to keep all that up-to-date as well?
Who Will You Be Working With
These are important questions, and you should know the answers before deciding whether or not to hire anyone to help you on the case.
Here is something else to think about: You may meet with one person, but then find out later on that someone completely different will be at your hearing. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with this, but you should know ahead of time.
Social Security Disability appeals can be long, drawn out battles. You may be working with your attorney for quite a while, so it makes sense to know who is going to walk down that road with you.
Questions? Check out the other articles on our website, give us a call, or get a free copy of our Social Security Guide.