Do I Need an Attorney to File for Social Security Benefits?
No, there is no strict rule stating you need to have an attorney help you with your social security benefits claim.
However, there’s also no rule saying you shouldn’t or can’t hire one too. It’s a personal choice, for you to choose depending on your circumstances.
For example, it may be better to have an attorney if you need help filing for claims; or, if it has been denied. They handle social security claims every day and know how to handle different scenarios. And all types of denials.
Here are a few more reasons for you to consider hiring an attorney.
Five Reasons Why You Should Hire an Attorney
- Your lawyer will fill out your application on your behalf. They won’t miss anything and will be thorough with the application. So there’s no worry about any incomplete or wrong submissions.
- Your Glendale social security benefits attorney will gather relevant medical records to submit your claim. You needn’t go through the hassle, and they will even go through all the documents. And pick out to use only relevant documents.
- Your attorney will be able to join you with all your meetings and conferences with SS officials. The SSA works directly with them and provides them with all the relevant information from your Social security file.
- An attorney is beneficial for you if you aren’t happy with the SSA’s initial claim denial. They will help you file an appeal with the SSA and also help you win this time.
- Attorneys are beneficial if you file an appeal. They will prepare you and your witnesses for the hearing. If required, they will also question your expert witnesses and collect additional evidence from them.
How to Find Your Social Security Benefits Lawyer in Glendale
Now that you may be considering hiring an attorney, the next question that pops to mind is who to hire.
The problem is that it’s not so easy. There are thousands of attorneys across the US. The best thing to do would be to turn to your local Social Security office for a list of prospects.
You can also always search online legal directories like Avvo or Lawyers.com. Look specifically for lawyers in your area specializing in social security benefits claims.
Once you select your attorney, the next thing you need to do is notify Social Security about your decision. You will have to download a form from their website, fill it out and submit it.
Of course, you can always have your lawyer do this if you don’t have the time. And you will both have to provide an electronic signature for verification.
How Much Do I Have to Pay?
Another question lingering in your mind would be to find out how much you have to pay the lawyer. The good news is that most attorneys work on a contingency basis. It means that they get paid only if and when they win your claim for you.
You will both have to agree upon a fee amount, which Social Security in turn authorizes. Once your claim is successful, Social security pays your attorney directly from your benefits.
You needn’t even have to go through the hassle of paying them too. You typically have to pay social security benefits lawyers 25% of the benefits, or $6,000, whatever is less.
There may be circumstances where your attorney may request more than this cap fee. For example, if you changed attorneys and both are demanding payment. If this happens, Social Security has to first approve the additional cost before proceeding.
However, don’t forget that your attorney has the right to bill you for any out-of-pocket expenses. For example, they may have to pay to extract your medical records.
So if you are still wondering if you need an attorney for social security benefits, it’s left to you to decide. However, statistics show that the chances of success are higher with an attorney representing you.