Tried and True Methods for Finding a Trusted Disability Representative
Once you have decided that you are ready to apply for disability benefits, your first step should be to contact a disability lawyer to assist you through the process. It is a fact that applicants who have legal representation have a better chance at having their claims approved the first time they are submitted. So, they do not have to go through an arduous and time-consuming appeals process. But, a good lawyer can also help with an appeal if it is necessary. Working with a lawyer has many advantages. But, it can be tricky to find the right lawyer to help with your case. Here are some great tips for finding the perfect disability lawyer.
Look for signs of professionalism and courtesy
Professionalism and courtesy are two major qualities you want your disability attorney to possess. When you first contact an attorney, pay attention to subtle cues that are telltale signs of these traits. How does the attorney treat you? How are the staff members in the office treated? How do the staff members treat you? Take note of how long it takes for your phone call to be returned, how long the attorney spends on the phone with you, and how willing he or she is for you to ask questions. Simply paying attention to these areas will help you determine if you want to work with this lawyer.
Access to your attorney
It is normal if you are not allowed access to your attorney the first time you call or if you are directed to a staff member for the answer to a question. However, you should be able to schedule a preliminary consultation with a lawyer. If the lawyer’s office is unwilling or unable to make this accommodation, you want to look elsewhere for representation.
Although it might seem favorable if a lawyer promises a favorable outcome for your case, that is not the case. If a lawyer implies or explicitly states that he or she can win your case, it is a sign of an unethical lawyer. Good lawyers do not make promises, as they cannot guarantee any outcome. Good attorneys give honest assessments and answers. To determine the level of honesty of a potential legal representative you only need to ask two questions: “Will my claim be approved?” and “Can you get me approved faster than I can on my own?” The manner in which these questions are answered will tell you everything you need to know.
Ask your potential attorney about approval (success) rates. A good attorney will be willing to share statistics with you. Unwillingness or inability to do so should be considered red flags.
Office and case management
Disability law firms are invariably busy places. However, you should easily be able to contact someone in the office when you need to. During your initial consultation, someone should give you the name of a primary contact within the office. To make sure there is ample staff in the office to service their clients, ask pointed questions regarding the number of support staff, if there is a paralegal on staff, and how many cases the firm handles in a typical week. You can also ask about your case manager and how often that person will be in contact with you regarding the progress of your case.
Legally speaking, a representative does not need to be a licensed attorney to assist someone with their disability case. However, your best option is to have a licensed attorney who knows the intricacies of disability law. So, not just assume a representative is credentialed. Be sure to ask your potential legal representative if he or she is a licensed attorney who specialized in disability law.
Knowledge of your condition
Some lawyers do not merely specialize in disability law, but they also specialize in particular conditions as well. This is particularly true if the condition in question is mental in nature. Ask your potential disability lawyer if he or she specializes in your condition, and if not, if you can be referred to someone who does.
If your child needs disability benefits, there are many lawyers who specialize in benefits for children, as their cases are handled differently than adult cases are. If you need this type of specialization, be sure to ask before you hire a lawyer.
Ask for references
It is always appropriate to ask your potential representative for references from colleagues or testimonials from satisfied customers.
If you have questions regarding applying for disability benefits or would like to speak with someone about legal representation, contact London Disability today. Our staff is experienced in the field of disability law and will be happy to help you with whatever you need.