If you believe you qualify for disability benefits and have been denied these, the chances are that you may be considering hiring a disability lawyer. The first thing you’ll want to know is what this is likely to cost you. If you’re out of work because of a disability, the last thing you will be able to do is to hire a lawyer and pay legal fees. However, most disability lawyers will take fees only if they win your case. Even then, the amount charged cannot be more than 25% of the claim you’re awarded, and will usually not exceed $6,000. The good news is that you will be paying only after you have been awarded the money you’ve initially been denied, so this will be a fee you’re probably happy to pay.
Why hire a lawyer and not appeal the matter yourself?
For a start, as obtaining benefits can be difficult due to a complex system of medical laws, your chances of success will be greatly improved if you work through someone who is a professional in the field and has handled countless similar cases. Also, past cases have shown that Social Security is far more likely to award benefits to an applicant that has received legal counsel, rather than to applicants who represent themselves. This, in itself, would be an excellent reason to consider working through a trained disability lawyer.
What does a disability case involve?
There’s a lot to consider in a disability case. There is an approved list of impairments that Social Security works through, and it might be that your case is a slight variation, which will need some careful arguments being put forward and some interpretation of the law. Just believing that you’re right doesn’t always help in these matters; you need someone who is skilled at putting forward an informed and persuasive point of view. It will most likely require the collection of further medical evidence, as this will be at the heart of the case, and an attorney will be able to ensure that you have the necessary records available. In a hearing of this nature, you will be questioned by a judge, which can be intimidating for a novice. An attorney can assist greatly by preparing you for cross-examination and helping you to get your point across accurately and eloquently.
If you’re denied benefits, your case will need to be heard in front of an Appeals Council and federal court. This is particularly when you need representation by an attorney who will know what paperwork needs to be filed, and how to approach the entire process professionally. As a rule, the sooner you contact an attorney the better, but you may feel confident enough to handle the initial application for benefits on your own, and consult an attorney only when your request is denied.