If you want to claim SSDI benefits after being diagnosed with a disability, you should consult an attorney at the earliest. The whole process of filing the claim and getting approval can be too overwhelming to understand. Most attorneys will be happy to offer a free consultation, which is your perfect opportunity to know your circumstances better. We have a few questions below for selecting the right Phoenix social security disability lawyer.
- Do you have a local office? You need a local attorney – period. Attorneys with a physical address in Phoenix are your best bet because they are more likely to know the judges of the three Offices of Hearings and Appeals. Also, it makes sense to have access to your attorney at all times. Don't be surprised to get answers from a staff member though, because disability lawyers are often busy with hearings.
- Can you tell me about your expertise? You can consider hiring a non-attorney advocate for your case, but it is best to get a licensed attorney on your side. Ask the attorney if they are aware of the Social Security regulations and how long they have been working in Phoenix. Licensed attorneys charge as much, and therefore, you may benefit more from their expertise. Check if the lawyer has training in disability law and is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives.
- How much would you charge? As with personal injury cases, you don't have to pay a disability attorney until you win. Disability attorneys typically charge a part of retroactive benefits received by the client. The standard fee is 25% of the benefits, but there is also a cap of $6,000. Note that you may have to pay more if your case is not resolved in the hearing. It is best to get an overview of the costs and fee structure if the matter goes to $6,000.
Talk to the lawyer in depth
Although not relevant for every case, some claimants may benefit from an on-the-record (OTR) request. If that is necessary, your lawyer should be able to deal with that. Your lawyer should also explain consultative examinations (CEs) with doctors, which may be useful for some cases. It is also wise to know if the attorney handles cases in federal court, which could be an indicator of their expertise.
A skilled and professional disability lawyer is someone who doesn't mind answering your questions. Check online now to find a few options.