If you are unable to work because of a long-term disability, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
However, applying for SSDI can be a complicated and frustrating process. Many applicants are denied benefits due to errors, insufficient evidence, or lack of legal representation. That’s why you need to find the best SSDI attorneys near you who can help you with your claim.
But how do you find the right SSDI lawyer for your case? What factors should you consider when choosing an attorney? And how can you avoid scams and frauds that prey on vulnerable people?
In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with some tips on how to find the best SSDI attorneys near you.
What is SSDI and who qualifies for it?
SSDI is a federal program that provides monthly income to workers who have a disability that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA).
SGA is defined as earning more than $1,310 per month in 2021. To qualify for SSDI, you must also have a sufficient work history and pay Social Security taxes.
You can check your eligibility and estimated benefits online using the Social Security Administration (SSA) website.
Why do you need an SSDI attorney?
Applying for SSDI can be a daunting task. You have to fill out complex forms, gather medical records, and submit evidence to prove your disability.
You may also have to deal with multiple agencies, such as the SSA, Disability Determination Services (DDS), and Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). If you make a mistake or miss a deadline, your claim may be delayed or denied.
An SSDI attorney can help you navigate the system and increase your chances of success. An SSDI attorney can:
- Review your case and advise you on the best strategy
- Prepare and file your application and appeals
- Communicate with the SSA and other parties on your behalf
- Gather and submit additional evidence to support your claim
- Represent you at hearings and cross-examine witnesses
- Negotiate a settlement or a favorable decision
According to a study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), applicants who had representation at the hearing level were more likely to be awarded benefits than those who did not..
How to find the best SSDI attorneys near you
Finding the best SSDI attorneys near you can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are some tips to help you with your search:
- Ask for referrals. You can ask your friends, family, coworkers, or other professionals who have dealt with SSDI claims for recommendations. You can also contact your local bar association or legal aid office for referrals.
- Do your research. You can use online directories, such as FindLaw or Super Lawyers, to find SSDI attorneys near you. You can also check their websites, reviews, ratings, and testimonials to learn more about their background, experience, and reputation.
- Compare your options. You should contact at least three SSDI attorneys and schedule a consultation with each one. During the consultation, you should ask them about their fees, services, success rate, and availability. You should also evaluate their communication skills, personality, and trustworthiness. You should choose an attorney who meets your needs, expectations, and budget.
- Avoid scams and frauds. Unfortunately, there are some dishonest people who try to take advantage of SSDI applicants. They may offer you false promises, charge you upfront fees, or ask you for personal information. You should be wary of any attorney who:
- Guarantees you a favorable outcome
- Asks you to pay before you receive your benefits
- Asks you to sign blank or incomplete forms
- Asks you to lie or exaggerate your disability
- Asks you to give them access to your bank account or Social Security number
You should also check the SSA’s website for a list of authorized representatives and a warning about fraudulent activities.
READ MORE: how to find a good disability lawyer
Finding the best SSDI attorneys near you can make a difference in your SSDI claim.
An SSDI attorney can help you with the application process, represent you at hearings, and fight for your rights.
However, you have to be careful and diligent in your search.
You have to ask for referrals, do your research, compare your options, and avoid scams and frauds.
By following these tips, you can find the best SSDI attorneys near you and get the benefits you deserve.