Why Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Spokane?
Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Apply for Social Security Disability?
If you can’t work because of bad health, and you’re worried about money, hiring a lawyer might seem out of reach.
You need to know this: In Social Security Disability cases, you don’t pay an attorney fee unless you win. The fee you eventually pay comes from the back benefits Social Security awards you.
Strictly speaking, you’re not required to get a lawyer to apply for disability benefits. But why take chances trying to win benefits on your own?
You have a lot at stake. Monthly checks from Social Security can be just what you need to pay your bills and hold on to your independence and dignity.
But winning benefits is hard. Most people get turned down. Social Security has thousands of rules for disability benefits.
If you work with a lawyer, they can take the stress out of navigating the Social Security system — and build a stronger case for you.
At the Law Office of Gary Penar, it also costs you nothing to talk to us about your situation.
What Does a Lawyer Do for Me?
As you apply or appeal for disability benefits, a lawyer takes care of all this and more:
- Analyzing your Social Security file
- Gathering your medical evidence
- Helping you fill out Social Security’s many forms completely and accurately
- Making sure you don’t miss any deadlines
- Building a legal strategy for your application
- Preparing you to testify before a Social Security judge
- Questioning medical and job experts who testify at your disability hearing
If you get denied and need to appeal, you face a complex appeals process with several steps, leading all the way up to a lawsuit in Federal Court.
This is a lot to handle on your own. Instead of risking your benefits, hire an experienced attorney who will put you in the best possible position to win.
Should I Hire a Non-Attorney Advocate?
Non-attorney advocates can represent you in Social Security Disability claims.
This might seem like an appealing middle ground between going it alone and hiring an attorney, but there are major differences between an attorney and a non-attorney advocate — and their fees are the same under Social Security rules.
These are four major differences:
Education:An attorney must earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree, and pass the bar exam. In the process, an attorney gets training in the rules of evidence, administrative law like Social Security cases, complex legal matters, cross-examination, and writing legal briefs and other documents.
A non-attorney advocate, on the other hand, is only required to have a bachelor’s degree and pass a written exam administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
There’s no guarantee they have training in evidence, administrative law, complex legal matters, cross-examination or legal writing.
Professional conduct and ethics rules: Attorneys are bound by rules of professional conduct and ethics, which require them to represent clients to the best of their abilities. Attorneys must follow the strictest standards, such as maintaining client confidentiality.
Recourse for you: If your attorney fails to act in your best interests or provide sufficient representation, you can file a complaint with the state bar association.
If a non-attorney advocate fails to serve you well, there is no equivalent recourse.
Ability to see your claim through to the end:If your claim is denied initially, an attorney can appeal the claim all the way to Federal District Court.
A non-attorney advocate cannot represent you outside proceedings within the SSA. If you need to file a lawsuit in Federal Court, you’ll either have to represent yourself or find an attorney who has not dealt with your claim until that point.
The disability rules can change depending on your age, education, training and work experience. At the Law Office of Gary Penar, we examine all aspects of your case and determine the best course of action for you.
A lawyer with experience can make or break your disability claim.
To review your case with an experienced attorney, contact Gary Penar right away.