Do You Need a Disability Benefits Attorney, Alpharetta, GA?
Every case is unique, but it’s in your best interests to hire an experienced Alpharetta disability benefits attorney when pursuing disability benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers. There are two main types of SSA disability benefits: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Their application and appeals processes are similar.
Claimants aren’t required to hire an Alpharetta disability benefits attorney when appealing an SSI or SSDI decision by the SSA. However, legal representation can be very beneficial to your disability benefits claim.
Hiring a disability benefits attorney, Alpharetta significantly boosts your chances of not only winning your claim but also securing a favorable onset date that ultimately affects your benefit amount.
It’s quite advantageous to seek legal help for the initial filing process, although attorneys usually do not get involved until an appeal process. If you decide to seek legal representation, you should hire an experienced and reputable Alpharetta disability benefits attorney at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC. But keep in mind that you’ve only 60 days to file an appeal, and if you plan to hire a representative, you must notify the SSA first.
Should I Hire an Attorney or a Non-Attorney To Represent Me?
You’ll have to choose between a disability benefits attorney, Alpharetta and a non-attorney disability benefits representative if you choose to be represented. Attorneys or non-attorney representatives only get paid when you win your claim; they’re entitled to the same fees, and the SSA pays them from your benefits.
Non-lawyer representatives must complete a specified number of continuing education courses and pass an SSA-administered exam. Alpharetta disability benefits attorneys, on the other hand, must be admitted to the state bar after completing a juris doctorate (J.D.).
Licensed disability benefits attorneys are bound by an obligation to zealously represent clients, a standard not officially required of non-attorney representatives, and usually have vast experience crafting legal arguments.
Furthermore, only lawyers can appeal your claim to a federal district court. You may file a formal complaint (not so with non-lawyer representatives) if you believe your lawyer offered substandard counsel.
However, some attorneys handling Social Security disability claims practice other types of law (such as personal injury or divorce) and may not have the necessary expertise to handle your claim properly. Therefore, do your due diligence before hiring an Alpharetta disability benefits attorney.
Hiring an Attorney to Appeal Your Claim
You may file a reconsideration appeal if you’re unhappy with the outcome or your claim is denied. Some claimants seek representation at the first appeals level, but reconsideration appeals often result in a denial. Therefore, it would be brilliant to wait until you get a hearing in front of a judge at the second appeals level.
You’re twice as likely to be approved at the disability benefits hearing if you have a lawyer. Before and during the hearing, your Alpharetta disability benefits attorney at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC will do the following on your behalf:
- Obtain doctors’ opinions of your condition
- Gather the required medical records
- Prepare you for questions the judge will ask
- Assess your medical records thoroughly
- Ask a vocational expert (the SSA hires for the hearing) essential questions during cross-examination
Rules for Representation in an SSDI or SSI Case
The first thing you should do is to inform the SSA in writing, using the SSA’s Appointment of Representative form once you decide to hire an Alpharetta disability benefits attorney at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC.
Disability benefits attorneys work on contingency, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. You and your lawyer sign a contingency fee agreement, subject to the SSA approval. The agreement allows the agency to pay the attorney directly (if you win your claim).
Your Alpharetta disability benefits attorney will be paid no more than 25% of your benefit amount (or $6,000, whichever is less). However, the lawyer may charge you for out-of-pocket expenses without the SSA’s approval.
You may seek another attorney if you’re unhappy with the current one. However, you will end up paying more than the aforementioned $6,000 limit if you’ve to pay more than one attorney. Furthermore, you will have to pay additional out-of-pocket costs.
Disability Benefits Attorney
Finding the right disability benefits attorney, Alpharetta can be as overwhelming as determining whether you should hire a lawyer in the first place. The good news is that our attorneys at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC provide a free initial consultation before you make any financial commitments.
Get started on your claim process by reaching out to our experienced disability benefits attorney today. Call us at 470.268.5802 or use our contact form.
Disability Benefits Attorney