We Know: How and Why to Hire a Disability Claim Lawyer
Why Hire an Attorney?
Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require people to hire attorneys to represent their claims, and every claimant has the right to represent him or herself, studies have proven that hiring an attorney greatly increases one’s chances of winning the case. Odds of winning can increase by more than 50 percent when attorneys are present.
How Can a Lawyer Increase Odds of Winning?
One primary reason hiring a lawyer can help one win a claim is that the lawyers are trained to understand the complicated laws involved with disability claims. They know what must be proven to win the case and how to go about doing it, even if the claimants are unsure themselves. Thus having a lawyer to guide you through the complex process can in no way hinder you, it can only help you.
Attorneys can also work with medical personnel to fully represent the situation. The SSA oftentimes assigns doctors to perform evaluations who may be unfamiliar with the claimants’ situations. Lawyers can arrange for the claimants own personal doctor to make the assessments instead, which results in a more accurate reporting.
What About Lawyer Fees?
The SSA has established federal laws to regulate fees involved in disability cases. The attorney only gets paid if the claimant wins the case, thus no one is left with hefty bills. In addition, the lawyer fee can only amount to either 25 percent of all one’s past due benefits, or $5,300, whichever amount is the least. So if you win, you don’t need to worry about using all your award money to pay your lawyer, it will only be a small fraction.
When is the Right Time?
While many people may think it best to file the claim before hiring an attorney, using the rationale that they will only consult a lawyer upon losing, in reality this idea is not such a good one. Nationwide, statistics show that nearly 70 percent of first-time claims are denied, and even after review and reconsideration almost 80 percent are turned down. This shows one’s odds of having his or her claim approved without a lawyer are very slim, so hiring a lawyer early may be advantageous.