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10 Questions to Ask Your Social Security Disability Lawyer

Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC April 19, 2023

After you’ve filed a claim with the Department of Social Security, the waiting game begins. The department may approve your claim right away, allowing your benefits to kick-in without any issue. But all-too-often, claims are denied. You should immediately submit a reconsideration request, but at the same time start looking for legal representation in case you end up in front of a judge.

Social Security Disability Attorney Questions

You have many choices in the attorneys to hire for your case. To find the perfect fit, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some sample questions: 

Where is your office located? It’s convenient to hire a lawyer who will either come to you or has an office located nearby. Some attorneys who advertise their services in a local market may not have people in your area to help.

How much experience do you have with social security disability claims? It’s important to hire an attorney with enough experience in the complex pursuit of Social Security disability benefits. The team at Wykoff & Sikes has a cumulative 50 years of law experience, much of it spent helping clients appeal disability claim denials. Find out if we can help you by contacting us today!

What will it cost to hire you? What case-related expenses will I need to reimburse, and will I be charged for them win or lose? There is only one truthful answer to the question of cost. You pay only if you win, and even then, that payment must come from the back pay owed you by the government and is limited. As a standard the contingency fee is 25% of past-due benefits, and the Social Security Administration caps the attorney fee allowed at $6000.

What can I do to help my claim? Whoever you hire to represent you will certainly need both participation and cooperation from you to win. The following are examples of things your attorney may ask you to do to help: Gathering documentation. Getting regular medical treatment. Taking advice of your physician

How will we win our case? If a social security disability lawyer takes your case, they generally see a clear way to win it. Don’t forget to ask about their winning plan.

How does the attorney recommend you prepare for the trial? It’s important to understand how many meetings you’ll need to have. Who needs to be in those meetings. And what kind of prep work will be required, i.e. practice testimony, etc.?

Are there other benefits for which I qualify? With a wide range of federal benefits available you want to be sure that you aren’t asking for too little.

Will you consider drafting an on-the-record (OTR) request? Sometimes a hearing can be avoided, if the evidence to support a disability claim is overwhelming. In these cases attorneys can submit an OTR request to the judge. Not all Social Security disability attorneys agree to submit these requests, and it’s important to find out if yours does provide that option.

Do you arrange consultative examinations with doctors? Only the Disability Determination Section can assign you to obtain a Consultative Exam, and their office will take care of scheduling it. A social security disability attorney’s responsibility is to prepare their client for what to expect during that examination. It’s important for you to be compliant with any order and attend the appointment as scheduled. This is important because compliance carries as much significance as the details reported from the exam. 

How will you prepare for a hearing? How often will we discuss my case? After a claim is denied, it can take over a year to get an appeal hearing, once the request is made. Your attorney should clearly communicate their steps to prepare for this hearing. At Wykoff & Sikes the waiting period is used primarily  to gather medical records. As the hearing date approaches, you would meet with your attorney once or twice to discuss the exhibit and then again either the day before or the morning of the hearing.

Ask Wykoff & Sikes

We would be happy to answer the above questions and more. Contact the Social Security disability attorneys in our practice today!