Some Social Security attorneys advise potential clients to file first and, if denied, attorney will then appeal on behalf of client. One reason for this is to save the potential client from having to pay legal fees if the case is simply approved after the intitial application. However, other attorneys will assist the client with filing the initial paperwork, and then continue to represent the claimant with the process should SSA deny the claim. Many attorneys that focus on SSDI cases work on contigency based contracts, which means there is no fee until he or she works to get the case approved. I agree with the comments made by Attorney Slack and Attorney Wayson.
You can look for an attorney who has experience with SSDI cases. A lot of SSDI attorneys will take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay unless and until you win.
You can search for an attorney in your area through Avvo or try contacting your local bar association.
This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney in your area for a one-on-one consultation before pursuing any action or making any decisions.
In addition to my esteemed colleague's suggestions, I would add the following:
- All Social Security attorneys are required by Social Security law to take SSDI cases on a contingency basis and the fees for such services also are set by Social Security law and must be approved by Social Security before being paid.
- An individual who is not competent to file his or her own claim, may have somebody else assist with / file the application (for applications taken either online or over the telephone, the process specifically asks if you are the claimant or if you are somebody else assisting the claimant to apply; if you apply in person they will expect the claimant to be there unless there is some medical reason the claimant cannot attend the application appointment.)
- Contact NOSSCR to find a Social Security attorney in your area, look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with one you are comfortable with.
NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours:
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.
If you have a phone, and can use it, call 1-800-772-1213. That is the main number and they can take the information needed to apply. Before calling, you should have the following information ready to give to them. This is not all inclusive. You should information about all marriages and divorces. You should be able to give them the names and addresses of all doctors and hospitals who have treated your disabling conditions. You should be able to discuss, in fair detail, the jobs you have had for the 15 years prior to becoming disabled. You should be able to explain why you believe you are disabled.
In the event you do not have a phone or cannot use one, I would look for a lawyer on the internet near you who does social security law. They will charge a fee, but only if you win. As discussed above, you can start with NOSSCR. They are an excellent choice for finding a competent attorney.
These comments are not intended to be legal advice. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship.