It depends on where in the process you are, but yes, in general, your lawyer should help you with any paperwork (much of it is dome online), gather you medical records and submit them to Social Security, obtain opinion forms from you treating physicians whenever possible, and deal with Social Security on your behalf. If you are not successful with your claim at first and need a hearing before the administrative law judge, your lawyer will prepare you and any other witnesses for that hearing, and represent you there.
The fee is 25% of your back award, with a current cap of $6000, so you do not pay unless get benefits.
You can go to www.nosscr.org to find local lawyers who specialize in Social Security Disability, Speak with at least a few to see with whom you feel most comfortable. Ask them questions about what they will do to help you, as not every lawyer does things the same way.
Attorney Inga Stevens is licensed in Maine. She provides general information on Avvo.com. No attorney-client relationship arises out of the information given here.
Thank you for your inquiry regarding eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. If you are pursuing a Social Security Disability claim, or have already been denied Social Security benefits, you need to speak to counsel to fully understand the lengthy and complicated process for obtaining Social Security disability benefits. You should contact an attorney specializing in Social Security law in your area to schedule a free initial consultation in order to obtain a frank, honest opinion on your Social Security disability claim. If you have a meritorious claim, your attorney should be able to assist you in filing the claim, obtaining medical records, submitting the appropriate forms to the Social Security Administration, etc. If your initial claim is denied, your attorney should be able to assist you further by representing you at the hearing before an administrative law judge. Legal representation for Social Security Disability cases is generally offered on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay any legal fee unless your claim for Social Security disability benefits is approved.
The Law Office of Steven Costello, PLLC and its attorneys may be retained only on the basis of a written contract, signed bythe attorney and the potential client, together with the payment of fees and costs as provided within the contract, when applicable. Accordingly, no representation shall commence, nor shall the attorney-client relationship exist with this office or attorneys absent execution of a written contract between the attorney and the potential client, together with prepayment of any costs and fees as may be required by said contract.
Many attorneys help people from the very begining - the filing of the claim - until the claim is approved or denied. Some attorneys wait to get involved until the first denial has been issued. Law offices vary on how they handle this.
Most attorneys, though, do help fill out forms and answer questions along the way. I agree with my colleagues' comments - you should look for an experieinced attorney who has a good reputation and experience in handling Social Security claims.
You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) www.nadr.org – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
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The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.