Friday, December 26, 2008

Choosing a Social Security Disability Attorney

This topic comes up every now and then: how to go about choosing your disability attorney. And very often when it does get mentioned in forums, someone always throws out the line "choose the attorney with the best win ratio" or "ask them how many of their cases do they win".

Reality check: Does anyone really, honestly believe that this is an efficient way to either screen prospective attorneys, or "interview" them? Because, for anyone who does, I hate to disillusion, but I must point out that this is a fairly useless question, and one that may cause a smirk on the face of the attorney on the other end of the phone line.

If you ask any attorney this type of question, you'll either be answered with A) a wonderful win ratio ("we win 90 percent of the cases we represent") or B) a somewhat vague response along the lines of "we win the majority of our cases".

In either case, the answer is fairly useless, simply because the attorney can give you any answer they choose. And there's no way for you, the prospective client, to verify it. And think about it---why would any attorney give you an answer that makes you think anything negative about him or her.

Choosing a social security disability attorney really shouldn't be reduced to questions like this. Simply because they tend to be useless. And, truthfully, no one will really know the quality of their chosen disability representative until the representative has actually provided some level of representation over time. If, during that time, you find ---

* that your appeal deadlines are missed.
* that you never get returned calls.
* that adequate case preparation isn't being done.
* that no one at the attorney's office EVER seems to know the status of your case.

--- then you might justifiably come to the conclusion that you've made an error in choosing your social security disability attorney.

So, how do you choose your disability attorney? Ideally, you should do it based on intuition and instinct. And this can be delivered via your initial contact with either the attorney or the attorney's assistant. If the attorney or their assistant seem ill-prepared, flustered, impatient, or seem to "rush you through" on the phone, this may send you a good warning signal about the type of representation you're likely to receives, as in "disorganized", "impersonal", and "inefficient".

However, if you don't trust your own instinct and intuition, getting a referral is always a great way to find able disability representation. Just as you'd probably rather have a roofer that came highly recommended, you'll probably do better with an attorney that was, likewise, recommended by a friend, neighbor, or relative.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

How to Qualify for Disability
Who Qualifies for SSI Disability Benefits?
I Never Met With My Disability Attorney before my SSD Hearing
Social Security Disability Attorney Fees
Social Security Disability Claims and Disability Lawyers
My Lawyer Didn't Say Anything at My Disability Hearing
Checking the credentials of a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Will a Disability Lawyer decline taking your disability case ?
When is a Disability Attorney Paid ? ?


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