Finding an attorney to represent your disability case is pretty easy. You can search “Social Security disability attorney” on the internet, call the bar association for the state where you live, look up attorneys in the yellow pages, or get a referral from your LTD attorney.
However finding the “right advocate” to represent your case, whether that person is a Social Security attorney , or an experienced disability advocate, is a completely different issue.
If the Social Security disability representative you select is a lawyer, you may want to know if the lawyer specializes in SSDI or SSI , or handles them infrequently on top of growing caseload of personal injury, traffic, and Social Security disability cases. It is nearly always best to select an attorney who is specialized. A lawyer who specializes in disability claims will have substantially more experience and aptitude that a lawyer who handles a Social Security disability case occasionally.
If the Social Security disability representative you talk with is a non lawyer (disability advocate), you may want to ask about their background. Are they formerly an Examiner for Disability Determination Services, or formerly a claims representative for the Social Security Administration. If so, you can normally deduce that they bear a strong understanding of the disability system in addition to an insider’s perspective.
Regardless of the “insider’s advantage,” there are many non attorney representatives who are extremely qualified without having an insider’s perspective. For instance, a representative who works for a statewide or national law firm that handle only SSDI and SSI claims might be extraordinarily proficient based on experience and knowledge.
The most important factor in who you choose to represent you is who makes you feel comfortable. This is a matter of trust, and who you trust to handle one of the most important issues of your life: winning SSDI or SSI benefits.
As we are all aware of, trust is something that is typically earned; therefore, when it comes to choosing a lawyer or non attorney advocate to handle your Social Security disability claim, you may want to gauge your “initial trust” level based on the following issues:
1. Were you able to reach the representative by phone?
2. Did the representative seem knowledgeable relating to the SSDI and SSI disability system?
3. Was the attorney or disability advocate willing to answer questions?
4. Did the attorney or disability advocate return your phone calls?
It is true that this list is quite short, but it is a good starting point for choosing the person or group to handle your disability claim.
If your chosen representative is reachable by phone or is prompt about returning you calls, is familiar with the way that the system operates and can use that information to benefit you, and is willing to ease your concerns by explaining the process of the Social Security disability system, and will keep you updated on the status of your claim. It is more than likely that you are receiving acceptable representation.