Q: What things should you look for when researching social security lawyers to handle your disability case?
A: When you are looking for social security lawyers to handle your disability case, you should not just simply pick one out of the yellow pages and hire him or her without an interview. If you have a recommendation from someone who has been through the disability review process, that is an excellent place to start. You can also call your state bar association or do some online searches for social security lawyers in your area. Take the time to set up an initial meeting with any lawyer on your list. Ideally, you would do that in person, but it can also be via the telephone. What is important is for you to get a solid idea of the conversational style of the lawyer and how he or she likes to communicate with clients. Some disability cases take quite a long time before a decision on them is reached. That means you need to have an open and honest relationship with your lawyer that whole time. You need to be comfortable. The best social security lawyers are those who also promptly return your phone calls and provide you with informed answers. Secondly, you need to feel confident that your lawyer will be able to expertly adjudicate your case. That means that you want to look for lawyers who specialize in disability and Social Security. Social security lawyers (versus general lawyers) will have the knowledge foundation and recent and frequent experience with the disability review process. So, when interviewing, make sure to ask if a lawyer specializes in disability and what percentage of his or her cases are social security disability cases. Lastly, make sure that an actual lawyer will represent your case during a hearing (should the claim need to go that far.) Some firms send non attorney representatives instead of social security lawyers to represent clients during hearings. You want to hire a lawyer that will be there during your entire disability review process.