If you are suffering from a illness or injury that prevents you from working, and you have paid into the Social Security system throughout your working career, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Qualifying for Social Security disability is, however, a complicated process, and most applicants are denied the first time they apply. As a result, many choose to work with an attorney who will work as an advocate throughout the process.
When selecting a Social Security Disability Attorney Rochester NY residents should first look for referrals from friends or relatives. If you know of anyone who successfully applied for Social Security disability, ask them for the name of the attorney they worked with. That attorney may not be the best choice for you, but it is definitely a good place to start.
Before committing to working with any Social Security Disability Attorney Rochester NY residents should request a free consultation appointment. During that appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to describe your disability and the attorney will have the opportunity to do a preliminary assessment of the likelihood of success with your application. By law, attorneys working for clients applying for Social Security disability cannot collect a retainer or any other up-front fee. Attorneys are paid a percentage of the benefits when the application is approved, and there is a limit – an attorney cannot collect more than 25% of the past due benefits when the client’s application is approved.
Since attorneys are only paid if their clients’ applications are successful, an attorney is not likely to accept a Social Security disability case unless he or she believes it has a reasonable chance of success. Potential clients should also assess the attorney’s office before making a decision to work with that individual. Since much of the paperwork, including medical records and applications, will be organized and filed by support staff, consider how organized or well-managed the front-office operation appears to be. Does it seem like an office that runs efficiently? A loss record or missed deadline can result in an automatic denial of your application, so this is an important detail.
Finally, consider if your personality meshes with the attorney you’re considering. You will likely be sharing personal medical information with your attorney, so you need to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable.