There was a great article published recently by Tim Moore, a former Social Security Claims Examiner. In the article, he provided advice for those seeking a Disability claim with the Social Security Administration. We loved everything he said so much, we wanted to pass it on and add a couple of thoughts of our own about picking the right disability attorney!
1) Don’t Wait to File for Disability.
We already covered the fact that wait times are increasing in the article, ”I’m Too Tough for Social Security: They Denied me Because I Worked Through my Injury.” As the US population continues to grow and age, the number of claims for Social Security Disability rises as well.
From a pragmatic perspective, the earlier you file the earlier you’re going to get through the system. Whether you are one of those whose claims are approved upfront, or you go through several year’s long processes, getting in the process today should be the number one item on your list if you are unable to work because of an injury or disability.
2) Hire an Attorney to Appeal a Disability Denial
Hang on, did a hearing examiner ^ just suggest hiring a disability attorney to appeal a denial?
If you’ve been through this process, you can probably attest to why. Claimants already have an uphill fight to get a claim approved in the first place. This is a challenging process. A good disability attorney will understand court processes and have the experience of having done these appeals many times.
3) Hire an Experienced Disability Attorney to Appeal a Denial
You wouldn’t want to take your car to a librarian to fix it. While the librarian would have access to all the “how-to” books in the world, you just cannot replace experience. Perhaps if this were a crafty librarian they would have read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. In Outliers, Gladwell systematically demonstrates that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to develop world-class expertise in any given subject.
A bit of back-of-the-envelope math says this is the equivalent to about 1250 social security appeal cases. This is generous – it might even be a bit low. Work with someone who has spent the time (10,000 hours or more) & effort to master disability claims. After all, your social security claim is worth so much more than a car.
4) Don’t Wait for a Denial to Consult with a Disability Attorney
Assume that most claims for Social Security Disability are going to be denied upfront. Do you want to be pursuing representation when you’re up against a 60-day deadline to file your appeal? At that point, you’re not a savvy consumer, you are a desperate one.
Getting a head start gives you time to figure out which attorneys will work best for you. Would you want to hire someone that was unwilling to talk to you before you were denied your claim? Even before there was an up-front financial consideration? Of course not!
There are many Social Security Disability attorneys. Not all are willing to become invested in your outcome prior to denial. Use the time while your claim is processing to consult with an attorney about the process and any questions you have.