What Questions Should I Ask Someone Before Hiring Them to Help Me with My Disability Case?
You’re dealing with a serious health issue. You’re out of work. You’re worried about your future.
You need the stable income and sense of independence that Social Security Disability benefits offer. But you might have heard horror stories about the process and how hard it is to qualify.
It’s important to get professional help with your claim, but not everybody who offers help provides the same level of care for your case. Some law firms treat you like a case file, not a human being.
You get more from experienced, compassionate, qualified SSD lawyers like the ones at Makris Law Firm. But as you consider what lawyer to hire, make sure to ask them some good questions:
#1 – What will you do to make my application strong?
Ask any lawyer if they will make sure your doctor knows the legal definition of a disability, that your doctor clearly explains your disability to you, and that important supporting medical evidence is properly submitted.
From the first time you apply for benefits through every step of the process, the lawyers and staff at Makris Law Firm tend to every detail to give you the best chance at winning benefits.
#2 — Do you have much experience with Social Security Disability cases?
Social Security Disability has its own legal system, even its own judges. It can make a big difference for you to have a lawyer who knows this system.
Makris Law Firm has handled Social Security Disability claims in Texas for over 35 years.
#3 – Do you understand how Social Security Disability works in Houston and Texas?
Knowing the local landscape can be important to your case. Some out-of-town law firms don’t take the time to learn about local judges and local doctors.
Because we’re dedicated to local residents, Makris Law Firm lawyers know the local Social Security offices and administrative law judges in Houston. We know local medical experts and community resources available to you.
#4 – Will I meet with my lawyer before I have a hearing?
If you have a hearing coming up with an administrative law judge for your disability appeal, a dedicated lawyer will speak with you to prepare you for your testimony before a judge.
Ask if you will be represented by a non-attorney representative or by a licensed attorney. At Makris Law Firm, you’ll always get a lawyer.
When you’re getting ready for a hearing, experienced lawyers also will carefully analyze each part of your Social Security file. And they will prepare to cross-examine medical experts and vocational experts who may testify for the government.
If you’re unable to visit our office in person, we can handle most aspects of the case with you by telephone. At the Makris Law Firm, an experienced lawyer will manage your case through every step.
#5 — I already applied and my claim was rejected. Is it too late for you to help?
If you’ve received a denial, make sure your lawyer moves fast.
We strongly recommend that you appeal, but you must meet a strict deadline.
At this stage, having an experienced lawyer can make a big difference in your case. The attorneys at Makris Law Firm make sure you meet all the deadlines and rules.
#6 — How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
In Social Security Disability cases, if you are accruing back pay you shouldn’t have to pay anything up front.
The Makris Law Firm doesn’t charge any legal fees in your disability case until you win.
And when you win, the most the Markris Law Firm charges is 25 percent of any past due benefits.
Non-lawyer disability advocates have similar fees, but they don’t have the training and education of a lawyer.
#7 — What’s your success rate with Social Security Disability cases?
Most people get turned down when they first apply for benefits. So ask a lawyer how his or her clients do.
Statistics from the Social Security Administration for 2016 showed that out of more than 2.3 million initial applications, only about 744,000 won benefits, meaning two-thirds of those applications were unsuccessful.
When you appeal your denial to an administrative law judge in Texas, the odds continue to be tough.
Recent numbers showed the judges in Texas approving benefits 38 percent of the time, less than the national average of 44 percent.
Social Security statistics show that having experienced counsel increases the chance of winning benefits.
#8 — Can you show me testimonials from satisfied clients?
Ask to hear from some satisfied clients.
With so many years of experience handling SSD cases, the Makris Law Firm has a lot of success stories we can share with you.
Contact the Makris Law Firm today to talk about your case. We’ll evaluate your case for free.