Are you applying for a disability benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or appealing a denied benefit decision? You may have decided that you need professional legal advice but are unsure how to find a disability benefit lawyer near you. A Social Security disability attorney may help improve your chances of obtaining a benefit through the SSDI or SSI claim process, so you will be relieved to know that there are several ways of finding a disability lawyer in your area. These ways are explored in more detail below.
How Can I Find a Disability Lawyer Near Me?
Before you start looking for a disability lawyer near you, note that many, but not all, lawyers specialize in a specific area of law. In addition to disability lawyers, there are lawyers who deal with family law, personal injury, business litigation, immigration law and criminal defense, just to mention a few. There are also quite a number of lawyers who are not so specialized and may offer their expertise in several different areas of law.
You will find that in large towns and cities, it may be easier to find specialist disability lawyers, whereas if you live in a smaller town or in a rural area the lawyers may be less specialized. Your best option is to choose a specialist disability lawyer who you can actually discuss your situation face to face, so as close to you as possible.
The easiest way of looking for a disability lawyer near you is to do a simple Google search, e.g. “Disability lawyers in Nashville” (substitute your own location). By doing this, you will find literally dozens of lawyers who offer disability help legal services, each of which has their own website you can check to see whether they are really specialists in their field or in fact are generalist lawyers. Nashville is a reasonably large city, and you can make your search more specific to your location by searching for “social security disability in east Nashville” or “disability lawyer near me in Bellevue/Madison/etc.”
While you look through the disability lawyers in your location, also check their Facebook page, if they have one. Law firm websites rarely have any input from clients, but if the firm has a social media presence (and many of them do) you are more likely to find what clients think about the lawyers and their legal help they have received. In addition to Facebook, most lawyers will have a LinkedIn account, which you can access if you also have a LinkedIn account of your own. This will give you a clearer idea of the professional background of individual lawyers and what success they have had in providing social security disability legal services.
The main disadvantage of these Google and social media searches is that the search engine shows up the lawyer’s own sites and it’s hard to distinguish between them. There are other tried and tested ways of finding a disability attorney near you which complement the Google search as explained below.
Family and Friends
Friends and family are often a good source of information about lawyers. There may be a family lawyer who is familiar with the legal aspects of Social Security disability benefits. This can have a lot of advantages because the lawyer may be familiar with your own medical history as well as your work history. Similarly, friends or family may be able to refer you to someone who they have used in the past. Chances are that if a family member is going to recommend a lawyer, it is because they trust they can do a good job.
If you’re involved with a nonprofit (such as one that aligns with your disabling condition), they may have some recommendations or work with a specific lawyer they can refer you to. Some lawyers that they partner with, allowing you to easily find an attorney who may be able to help with your disability claim.
If you are still stuck for finding a lawyer near you (because you can’t find anything through an internet search) there are other sources of information that can help, such as:
- Yelp or Other Directories;
- Your state or local bar association. You will find that every state and certainly every major city will have one of these and you can make enquiries through the bar association to find a lawyer who specializes in disability law.
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Most disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so they only earn a fee if you succeed in obtaining a benefit. In addition, the lawyer’s fees are often built into your back pay from the SSA. By working with an attorney, you can help by obtaining as much information as possible about your medical condition and why your disability means that you cannot work and need a disability benefit.