If you are in need of Social Security benefits, money is likely a concern if you are unable to work, which can make you reluctant to hire a Social Security lawyer to pursue your claim. However, there are benefits associated with hiring a Social Security lawyer and deferment of costs that you would otherwise miss out on. We break down below the potential benefits and costs of hiring a Social Security lawyer in order to help you make the best decision for your situation.
The costs of hiring a Social Security lawyer are relatively straightforward: disability lawyers charge a fee that is regulated by federal law and is generally the lesser of 25% of your disability backpay or $6,000.
Note that this figure does not include costs that may be associated with your claim such as transcript fees, postage, making copies, etc. Usually, there is little to no money required up-front and you are only required to pay if your lawyer wins your case.
Why you should hire a social security disability lawyer
Most people agree that the benefits of hiring a Social Security disability lawyer far outweigh the costs listed above. This is primarily because a lawyer is a professional who offers an advanced education in law and a daily working knowledge of Social Security laws. He or she will greatly improve your chances of a positive outcome by helping you to avoid pitfalls that you may not even be aware of. While some people who file a Social Security disability case on their own are approved, statistics show that applicants represented by legal counsel are far more likely to be approved for benefits, and more of them.
From submitting the initial application to the hearing and aftermath, Social Security lawyers understand how to present the case in a manner that will yield success for the client. It can be helpful to determine your need for legal counsel by answering a few questions and being honest with yourself:
- Do you know how to write with proper legal citations?
- Are you familiar with the rules of evidence?
- Do you know and understand every step in the process of submitting a Social Security disability claim?
- Do you know who you will be dealing with during the claims process?
- Do you have any experience with Social Security disability law?
If you found yourself answering no to any of those questions, it may be in your best interest to pursue the services of experienced legal counsel to improve your chances of the best possible outcome.
When should you hire a social security disability lawyer?
The general rule here is the sooner, the better. Many in this situation will try to get the ball rolling on their case and then contact a lawyer after running into problems in the process. This option is not always unsuccessful, but it certainly isn’t the recommended course of action. Often times, getting a lawyer involved halfway through the process forces the lawyer to spend extra time correcting potential mishaps that may have been made and then trying to minimize the damage done.
Instead, it’s best to consult a lawyer as early in the process as possible to gain an understanding of the process, what is required of you, and to identify potential holes in your case. If at that time you decide you can handle it on your own, you can proceed without legal counsel and you will sleep better at night knowing you’ve done everything you could.