When you file for Social Security Disability (SSDI), it is a good idea to begin talking to a disability lawyer. Engaging the expertise of a Social Security Disability Lawyer early in your application process can help avoid some of the big reasons claims get denied later on.
One of the big challenges of finding and retaining a disability lawyer, though, is that there are many lawyers to choose from, and not all of them are as good as they could be.
So, when you hire a lawyer how do you know if you have a good lawyer?
Here are five warning signs that you might have a lousy disability lawyer.
Your Disability Lawyer is Not Available
Disability lawyers usually have a lot of cases they are working on so you may not always speak to your lawyer when you call. However, you should always be able to speak with someone at the lawyer’s office (secretary, an assistant, paralegal).
If they are unable to answer your question, your disability lawyer or someone who can answer your questions should return your call in a reasonable amount of time. If this is not happening, you may want to find a lawyer who will be more accessible to you when you have questions or concerns.
Your Disability Lawyer Makes Impossible Promises
Having a disability lawyer does not guarantee that you will win your case. A disability lawyer should never promise that they will win your case. They need to be upfront and tell you what chance you should have. Most disability lawyers will not take your case unless they feel there is a chance of winning, but again that does not guarantee it. A disability lawyer should also never promise you a dollar amount if you should win your case.
Your Disability Lawyer Doesn’t Follow-Through
If your disability lawyer says they are going to do something and they do not follow through, then this should raise some red flags. Their job is to help you gather the medical evidence and statements that will help make your case strong. When they say they are going to contact your medical professionals or third parties to collect the evidence, they should be following through. You will not have a case if this is not done promptly.
Your Disability Lawyer Doesn’t Meet With You
Your disability lawyer should call you or meet with you in person a month or two before your hearing to prepare you for the hearing. They should review with you questions you may be asked during the hearing and help you prepare answers that will benefit your case not harm it.
Your Disability Lawyer is Not Respectful
A disability lawyer should be respectful of your situation and not make you feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. They should be kind and understanding when you explain your situation and help you understand the process. They should also be respectful of your time.
This goes back to number one above (availability) as well as working with your schedule when scheduling meetings or phone calls.
You Deserve Better and It’s Not Too Late
If your disability lawyer is doing any of these, you should probably get a different lawyer. Filing for SSDI is already confusing and difficult enough without your lawyer making it complicated. When choosing a disability lawyer, asking questions before even meeting with them will help you find the right lawyer for you.