Applying for social security disability benefits can be a daunting experience. Although the application itself is fairly straightforward, it is also detailed and requires significant supporting documents. Many first-time applicants are turned down, but that does not mean it is time to give up. If you are applying for benefits the first time, or have been denied and need to file an appeal, a Social Security disability benefits lawyer can be helpful. Use these guidelines when searching for a lawyer to advise you.
1. The Local State Bar Association
Every lawyer who is authorized to practice law must pass a bar exam in the state where he or she practices. Some states have additional requirements, such as continuing education, that must be met to maintain the standard. The state bar association can provide a list of practicing lawyer in the area where you live. It can also verify that a particular lawyer is currently in good standing.
2. The Local Social Security Administration Office
The local office where you will file your social security disability benefits claim may be a helpful place to start. While it cannot recommend a specific lawyer, it may be able to provide information on local firms that specialize in this type of law.
3. Others in the Law Field
If you know or have hired a lawyer who practices in a different area of law, he or she may be able to recommend a colleague. For example, the attorney who completed your will may not handle Social Security disability benefits, but may have a friend who does. This is a good method for finding someone who is reputable through an unbiased opinion.
4. Peer-Review Websites
Advertisements always paint a lawyer in a positive light, but often review websites highlight the best and worst individual experiences. For an honest review of local lawyers, use a source such as the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review to read objective evaluations. The areas of review include ethics, professionalism, and skill.
5. Friends and Colleagues
Often the most honest reviews come from friends or co-workers. Ask anyone you know who may have collected Social Security disability benefits, either for themselves, or for a relative. If you belong to a social group, peers may have had a similar experience and can share their recommendations.
Once you have found a few SSD lawyers, research each of them to narrow down the selection to only a few. Contact each one and schedule a meeting. Most offer a complimentary consultation, which gives both parties a chance to see if working together is beneficial. This is an opportunity to ask any questions. There will be no payments necessary until you have won your claim. Visit Disability Lawyer for more information.