Disability and lawyers

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Posted by michael ( on July 24, 2001 at 20:26:52:

Some of you know me. For those that don't, Im an attorney. Please note: This is not intended to be used as legal advice for representation. In no way should any of this be relied upon as advice from your attorney. (Sorry, I have to go through that as I am only licensed in two states and would be in real trouble offering representation to someone in a state where I was not licensed)

You should also note that I have practiced criminal law exclusively for many years. I couldn't do my own disability claim if I had to.

I have however recently talked to professional friends who do a lot of disability claims. I have no plans to seek disability myself and will not recommend any attorney so don't even ask.

If you are however considering disability, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go see a lawyer BEFORE you even call the Social Security office. The SS will tell you that you do not need a lawyer; that you can file the initial claim yourself and then get a lawyer if it is denied. The problem is that the SS people are not on your side. They exist to deny claims. My professional friends tell me that the best way to lose a disability case is to take one over that has been filed before an attorney got involved. Your chances of winning are significantly reduced if you wait to get a lawyer for the appeal. The way to win a claim is to win it with the initial filing. If that is denied, you are still basing your entire appeal upon the initial claim. It should be filed with the appeal in mind.

Yes, I know everyone hates lawyers. Believe me, I am not trying to "drum up business" for myself or the professional in general. Every lawyer I know is already far too busy.

A good disability lawyer will take a portion of your award as his fee. But a good disability lawyer will not charge you unless you win.

Think of it this way: Would you start operating on yourself to save some money thinking you will call in a Doctor if it turns bad? Most of us, (well, ok, except maybe jonny) wouldn't even dream of trying it ourselves. Your disability claim is just as complex and my suggestion is to have a professional involved right from the start.

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