How to Find the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in Georgia
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How to Find the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in Georgia
Trying to navigate disability applications and laws can be incredibly confusing and stressful. It’s hard enough to be dealing with a disability; it’s even more difficult to have to prove it to someone else. Arthritis can be so painful that a person may not be able to work anymore, which is an incredibly frustrating position to be in. If you’re trying to find the best arthritis and disability lawyers in Georgia, we can help.
Morgan & Morgan has lawyers throughout the United States, and they have a significant amount of experience handling disability claims. We can assist you from beginning to end. Many disability claims are denied right off the bat, so applying for relief with a lawyer from the start can often expedite your application and help you get approved faster. If you need assistance with anything relating to your disability claim, don’t hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Finding the Best Arthritis and Disability Lawyers in Georgia
If you’re trying to find the best lawyers, the first thing you should do is figure out what it is you’re looking for. Consider the following:
1. When do you want to hire a lawyer?
The first thing to decide is when you need to start planning on hiring a lawyer. Are you going to apply for disability on your own and only seek assistance from a lawyer if your application is denied? Or do you plan to hire a lawyer from the beginning to help try to speed up the process and make sure there aren’t any small but costly mistakes made when you apply? Whatever you decide is fine, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for and when you need help. We highly recommend that you apply for disability with a lawyer right from the start.
2. Does the lawyer you’re hiring have enough relevant experience?
Next, you should always make sure that the lawyer you decide to hire has actual experience handling the type of claim that you’re dealing with. It doesn’t matter how many years a lawyer has been practicing. If they’ve never done any cases similar to yours, their experience is meaningless. It’s crucial to make sure the lawyer or firm you hire has experience in preparing, negotiating, and litigating your type of case. Disability law is a very complex specialty, and only a lawyer that understands this field of law from top to bottom should be considered.
Another factor to consider when deciding who to hire is the lawyer’s reputation. Have you ever heard of them? If so, have you heard good things or bad? If you don’t know them personally and haven’t heard anything about them, it’s helpful to start searching online so you can find information about them. Find out how long they’ve been practicing, how many different firms they’ve worked for, and what their former clients are saying about them. Reviews from previous clients are typically the best way to determine how a lawyer treats their clients. Always look for reviews on Google and other sites other than the lawyer’s own website. Lawyers often handpick the reviews for their website, and they aren’t going to include negative ones. For a full picture, make sure you do enough research.
4. Do they offer free consultations?
Most lawyers who handle disability claims will offer a free consultation. At this meeting, you can discuss your case briefly with the lawyer, let them know what you’re looking for, and see if they are willing to take your case. Just because you meet with them and they’re willing to take your case doesn’t mean you are required to hire them. You can do your due diligence; meet with multiple different attorneys or firms so you can choose the one that you relate to the most and is the best fit for you and your situation. If an attorney isn’t willing to offer a free consultation, this is unusual and you may want to avoid them. Anyone who charges you upfront before you’ve even decided to hire them may not have your best interest in mind.
Another significant factor in finding the best lawyer for your case is to make sure you hire an attorney you can afford. Many people are dissuaded from filing any kind of lawsuit or seeking the help of a lawyer because they assume it’s too expensive for them. While lawyers can sometimes be expensive, many firms handle their disability cases on a contingency fee basis. This means they only collect payment if they win or settle your case. If you don’t win any money, they don’t get paid anything either. When you meet with prospective attorneys, find out how they charge for their services. If they do operate on a contingency fee basis, make sure you go over the agreement in detail before signing it. Are there any expenses you’re responsible for even if you lose the case? What percentage of your award will they take if they’re successful? Ask as many questions as possible and get as detailed as you can when discussing a fee agreement.
6. Size of firm
Another factor you may want to consider is the size of the firm. Do you prefer to work with a large firm with seemingly unlimited resources, or a smaller, more personable firm? Many people fear that they’ll get lost in the shuffle with large firms and they won’t be able to get updates about their case or ask questions throughout the process. While this can be true, this can also happen with smaller firms. If there are too many clients and not enough lawyers, time can be quite the commodity. The size of the firm typically isn’t what determines your relationship with your lawyer and how involved you will be in the case. This is more dependent on the firm and the lawyer you hire and their philosophy on how they operate. If being updated and being an active participant is important to you, this is something you should discuss with the lawyer before you hire them. If they seem hesitant or tell you that you won’t be able to reach them so easily and you’ll always be filtered through a paralegal, you may end up deciding you want to go with someone else.
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How much money will I receive if my disability application is accepted?
The amount of social security disability you receive is based on your past earnings. Social security uses your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) to determine your payments. Payments are based on your lifetime earnings as opposed to the severity of your illness. Speak with a lawyer so they can help you determine how much income you might be able to receive.
How do I apply for social security disability?
The quickest and easiest way to apply for disability is to apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov. You can also go in person to your local Social Security office and speak with a representative who can help you apply. You’ll likely encounter a pretty long line, so be prepared for a wait if you go in person.
How long does it typically take for Social Security to make a decision?
The process can be a lengthy one. Even if everything goes perfectly, it can still easily take up to six months or even longer for you to get an answer. This is because they need to review all of the documents you submit, your medical records, and everything else included in your application. In some circumstances, they can require you to see an agency doctor who helps them make the initial decision regarding your claim.
Can I work and still collect Social Security Disability?
If you’re collecting social security disability, you can still work, but the amount of income you are allowed to earn is strictly regulated. In order to determine how much money you can make and still collect disability, you should speak with an experienced lawyer. There are tables and formulas and calculations that an experienced disability lawyer can help you to understand.
Am I required to hire a lawyer?
No, you’re never required to hire a lawyer in order to apply for Social Security Disability. However, almost every single application is initially denied when you try to apply on your own without a lawyer! It is incredibly important not to try and file everything on your own. You are certainly permitted to file the application and handle everything by yourself, but it’s recommended to use an attorney from the start. It’s absolutely vital to hire an attorney if your application is initially denied, as so many of them are. Having an experienced attorney review your application and determine why it was denied can be unbelievably helpful when you’re appealing the decision. It can often make the difference between having a successful appeal or being denied again.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here to Fight for You
If you’re suffering from debilitating arthritis and you need to file a disability claim, contact a lawyer right away so they can assist you in getting you the compensation you’re entitled to. Disability applications can be time-consuming and confusing. Making a small mistake can set you back significantly and extend the timeline of the process quite a bit. While it might not seem necessary to hire a lawyer to help you file your disability claim, you will want to reconsider. Many disability applications are rejected at first, and then approved during an appeal. Hiring legal representation often lets you skip over the appeal process and lets you receive payment sooner. If you’re still trying to find the best arthritis and disability lawyers in Georgia, look no further. Morgan & Morgan is here to help you with any arthritis or disability claims you have. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.