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Where Can I Find the Best Social Security Disability Lawyer in Birmingham, AL
Whether you are initially filing your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim or have received a denial letter, you should have an experienced attorney by your side to maximize your chance for approval. Getting your application accepted for social security disability in AL is challenging for the most legal savvy individuals. This is why it can be difficult to find a lawyer with the level of experience and proven track record of success you need.
When looking for the right legal advisor and advocate to represent your claim, consider the following characteristics they should have:
Highly Qualified With Proven Experience
Just because a law firm claims they have years of experience providing high-quality SSD representation doesn't mean it's true. You need verifiable proof that they have a case record of getting their clients approved. This area of law is complicated, and if your prospective attorney makes it sound like they can breeze through the process, be cautious.
The most skilled legal professionals find the filing process of Social Security Disability in AL challenging and unpredictable. To ensure you have a trustworthy attorney who isn't creating false hope, determine how much of their caseload is dedicated to SSD matters. How familiar are they with this area of law, and how many hearings have they represented their clients at?
Their knowledge is essential to the appeals process. Since most applicants get denied initially, their ability to navigate your case through the different steps of an appeal successfully is crucial.
Hire a Local Social Security Disability Attorney in AL
Despite the fact that SSD claims are being processed on the federal level, working with a local disability attorney is still important. Instead of having a long-distance business relationship with an out-of-state lawyer, you can actually meet in person. This opportunity helps you better evaluate their personality, give them a firsthand understanding of how your disability affects your ability to function and ensure there aren't any travel issues that could affect future hearing appearances.
Another good reason to hire an SSD attorney that practices in Alabama are they are probably familiar with the staff at your local Social Security office branch. They likely have a great relationship with the medical professionals in your area that provide the different assessments and exams that will be necessary. These relationships can prove beneficial to your case because we know which doctors are best to assess your condition.
Finally, local attorneys can tailor your hearing presentation for the court if attending a hearing in front of an administrative judge. Knowing ahead of time how a particular judge receives these hearings will make all the difference to your case.
Pay Attention to Client Reviews
When you check out potential social security disability attorneys to represent your case, you need to do your research. While star ratings are an excellent indicator, it's easy to buy these. Look for reviews that go into detail about how the attorney helped their client. Check out testimonials posted on the law firm's site, too, including reviewing their results page. If there are negative comments, pay attention to how your lawyer responded. Did they offer to discuss the matter further or rudely clap back at them? This can indicate the type of relationship you can expect when working with this firm.
Your Attorney's Staff Are Important, Too
While your SSD lawyer will be handling your case, they will rely on support staff like paralegals and associate attorneys to assist them too. This is perfectly normal and should be expected, and how these team members treat you and other clients is equally important in your decision to hire or not.
If you feel like you aren't being paid attention to or treated as an inconvenience, this can be problematic. How can you be sure your attorney will receive your calls in a timely manner? Their office team is essentially gatekeepers and will help prioritize the workload on your lawyer's desk. However, if they don't show genuine care or compassion and try to alleviate the stress and anxiety you're experiencing about your case, you might want to go elsewhere.
Hire an Accessible Attorney
One of the worst aspects of filing for social security disability in AL is not knowing how long it will take to get a decision and if it will be favorable. If you have questions or concerns, your attorney needs to be accessible. Understandably, they can't always pick up the phone, but keeping you in the loop on what's going on and making time to address your fears and anxiety is essential.
If you only receive follow-up calls from legal assistants and other support staff, this is a sign that your prospect is either not invested in your case or too overloaded. Either way, it's unacceptable, and you need to interview the next attorney on your list.
Who Is Handling Your Case
It's not uncommon for a law firm to have a primary attorney who acts as the practice's face and voice. You may call and even speak with this legal professional, arrange a free consultation, and then arrive to find out a different attorney will actually be managing your SSD case. If this is the case, arrange another free consultation with the lawyer assigned to your matter and then make your decision about whether you want their services or not.
If you meet the disability lawyer you first spoke with, verify that they will be personally involved with your case. If they only plan to attend your hearings but have their staffers work with your to build your case, again, you may want to check out your other options instead. Still, this is a business relationship you are forging. You need an attorney who fully invests their efforts into your SSD matter.
Choose an Attorney That Operates on a Contingency Fee
As someone who suffers from a disabling medical condition or injury, your finances are already under tremendous strain. Therefore, an important feature of any disability attorney you consider is how they expect to get paid for their services. Ideally, the candidate you choose for your case will use a contingency fee system to handle payment arrangements. This means that instead of paying them as you go, they will take a percentage of your final compensation award if you win your case.
How this works when applying for Social Security Disability in AL is you will sign a fee agreement that will pay the attorney 25% of your past-due benefits should you win your claim. This agreement is subject to review by the Social Security Administration to ensure that it doesn't violate their representative guidelines and only pay them what they are legally entitled to receive.
There is a $6,000 cap on the total amount they can receive, though they might charge a separate fee if you have to make a federal appeal. Your attorney won't receive any payment at all if there is no back pay awarded, but they can still petition the SSA for a representative fee instead.
When first consulting with your prospective disability lawyer, ask about the fees that won't be covered under this agreement. Try to pick someone that won't require you to pay money upfront for out-of-pocket expenses like postage, record request fees, or medical exam expenses. Some attorneys will front these costs and wait until your application is approved to get reimbursed.
Morgan & Morgan
Is there a difference between SSD and SSI?
Yes. Social Security Disability (SSD) provides financial support to individuals who have suffered a long-term disability or illness that makes it impossible for them to work any longer. These benefits usually last until one qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based financial benefit for disabled individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Things like age, type of disability, and income limitations are part of the approval process.
What medical conditions do you represent in SSD cases?
Morgan & Morgan has represented individuals seeking social security disability in AL for over 30 years. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals suffering from conditions in the SSA's blue book listings and those that are not. If you suffer from an uncommon health problem, we will ensure that medical experts familiar with your situation can build a comprehensive case to get your claim approved.
Trust the Experienced Disability Attorneys of Morgan & Morgan
At Morgan & Morgan, our highly qualified social security disability attorneys in AL understand the importance of having financial stability after suffering a disabling injury or illness. Being unable to work any longer could qualify you for crucial benefits from the Social Security Administration. The law firm you choose is equally as important, especially if your application gets denied.
Individuals needing disability representation choose our firm because we consistently win these cases more often than others in our field. However, if you aren't sure if your health condition qualifies you for benefits or if you feel like your denial won't win an appeal, reach out to Morgan & Morgan before giving up. We are happy to investigate your claim at no charge and won't take a dime in payment unless you win.
For over 30 years, our social security attorneys have provided Alabama residents the extensive experience needed to maximize their chances of approval. Please fill out our no-cost case review form today to learn more about how our firm can help you with the Social Security Disability application and appeals process.