| Eight Questions To Ask, That Most Don't Know To Ask , When Hiring Your Social Security Attorney Or Non-Attorney Disability Representative!
Welcome to mini-course lesson 9 all about what you must know and the questions to ask so you are certain to select the BEST Social Security representative to press your case!
This lesson is a summary of the critical criteria and tips on the important questions to ask so you can confirm that your attorney meets these criteria.
To start with, as explained in lesson 8, you pay the same price for a Social Security representative, so why not maximize your chances by interviewing the very best Social Security Disability representative available.
Eight questions to ask when interviewing a representatives
1. If you are just filing
If you have not yet filed, you'll need to find a representative who takes cases from the very beginning (application stage) and has experience winning these cases.
One of the benefits of representation is you don't have to deal with the paperwork, and we have found that representatives who are good at initial applications will get 73% approved IN AN AVERAGE OF 18 MONTHS WITHOUT GOING TO A HEARING.
This beats the three year wait that CBS News reports.
Some representatives will advise you to file on your own and, if you get denied, come back and see them. In my opinion, the reason for this is they know that most people get denied and they would like to see your back benefits accumulate so when they take the case and win, there's more money in it for them.
2. Representative location
Although there's an advantage in having a local attorney as they know the judges, Your attorney doesn't have to be local; they just have to be good!
3. Areas of practice
Your representative should be a Social Security specific representative who
concentrates on Social Security Disability.
This is especially true if he is an attorney, because smaller firms will commonly practice different areas of law and not do enough social security disability cases to be good at it. This could lead to potential delays in your case or not winning at all, resulting in a VERY expensive mistake.
To conclude, if an attorney is only doing Social Decurity and is representing at least 30 cases a month, this is a good sign.
4. The win percentage
Your representative should be winning at least 80% of the Social Security cases he represents. If the winning percentage is below 80%, you need to find out why and make sure you are comfortable with the reason.
5. Condition specific experience
What's the representative's experience and success rate in winning cases for your specific disability?
For example: If depression is the major disability, how many cases like this has the representative represented and how many have they won.
Again, if it is not over 80%, you need to ask the attorney what is his strategy for winning your case and make sure his response really WOWs you!
6. Working while filing
We have found some representatives who will represent your case and allow you to work 2-3 hours a day at least to start. So in your interview, ask about this possibility.
A. The law is set to 25% of your back benefits up to $6,000.00. Some representatives will negotiate, especially if you have a good claim or are willing to do some of the leg work. Thus, it does not hurt to ask.
B. Ask if the representative pays for all medical records. This is important because doctors will chare what the state regulations permit. Some states allow $100 a page, which could leave you on the hook for hundreds of dollars.
The update could be a scheduled phone call, letter, or email. This should be with the attorney who is working on your case and should be complete, even if there's low or no activity.
8. Communication Plan
The #1 attorneys and non-attorney representatives' complaint we receive from our members is that they do not provide updates on cases.
Good representatives are busy people, often in court, and not able to call you back right away. Many times assistants have little knowledge of your case, and you are not the only client they are representing.
Meanwhile, you are out of work, relying on the attorney to win your case so you can get some money to survive, and you have no idea what's going on with your case. It's an awful feeling that most want to avoid.
If the representative is going to take your case, you must agree on a communication plan. What's reasonable is that you should be provided with an update on your case at least once every 45 to 60 days.
This communication will give you peace of mind and hold the attorney accountable for paying attention to your case.
Last and MOST IMPORTANTLY, you can prove you would be good to work with and separate your case from others by being prepared to:
1. Cover all the questions above in your interview,
2. Have a list of doctors you see,
3. Explain what you have done for work, and
4. Explain in two sentence or less why you cannot work any job in the
United States five days a week, forty hours a week.
I encourage you to print or write down the interview questions covered on this page... And BE CERTAIN TO COVER ALL OF THEM in your interview. This will give you the confidence that you selected the best disability representative for your case.
Again if you are working or at an early stage of your claim, I encourage you to consider The Disability Answer Guide to help you navigate through the large volume of confusing forms you will soon see.
p.s. To Learn If an Attorney can Help You Win Your Claim, Click Here
p.p.s. All Lessons and Audios, Click Here