The right Atlanta disability attorney can maximize the chances of winning your disability benefits.
Yet, there are many factors to consider when consulting a new attorney. What should you look for? How do you know an attorney is right for your claim?
There are different types of disability claims you might file, depending on your specific situation. Some of the main disability claims you may file for include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- VA Disability
- Workers’ Compensation
Each of these programs comes with its own criteria for how and when disabilities qualify you for benefits.
For instance, Social Security is a federal program with strict qualifications for disabilities that must be severe enough that you can’t work. SSDI and SSI are separate programs with different expectations.
Meanwhile, VA Disability benefits are tied to a veteran’s former service and based on a disability rating.
A disability lawyer experienced with the specific circumstances of your case can advocate on your behalf and help you win your case.
What to Look for in an Atlanta Disability Attorney
Regardless of the type of disability claim, there are some common things you should look for when you’re ready to consult a disability attorney.
For many seeking benefits, cost is a major consideration when deciding whether to hire an attorney. While cost may at first seem prohibitive, it shouldn’t stop you from exploring your options for legal representation.
When filing for Social Security benefits, for instance, in many cases you won’t pay a lawyer’s fee unless you win your claim. The attorney will collect a percentage of your initial earnings.
You should also consider that for many law firms in Atlanta, including Affleck & Gordon, an initial consultation is free, and these are a great opportunity to interview firms and decide whether they meet your needs.
It’s important that an attorney have experience with your specific type of disability claim. When you interview them, you can ask question such as:
- What is your primary area of practice? How much experience do you have winning benefits for clients?
- What percentage of cases have you won for your clients?
- How many approvals have you won once a case goes to hearing?
- What is your experience with clients with my specific medical condition?
- What access will I have access to a case manager and support staff?
- What level of communication will you keep with me about my case?
- Given what I’ve told you about my case, what are your initial thoughts about potential outcomes and next steps?
While you can easily Google disability lawyers in Atlanta, finding a reputable attorney is important. Local court personnel work closely with attorneys, and a positive reputation can build trust with those handling your case, thus increasing your chances of winning a claim or appeal.
In addition, a reputable attorney will foster good communication with their clients and handle their claims with care.
The best way to find a reputable attorney is to check with people you know who’ve had a positive outcome.
However, you can also consult the Georgia Bar Association’s lawyer referral service, use a university legal clinic, or check the Better Business Bureau.
Atlanta Disability Attorneys for Social Security
Filing for Social Security benefits can be a long process, including doctors’ appointments, medical tests, record keeping. On top of that, most claims are initially denied. That means a claimant will have to go through a potentially lengthy appeals process and attend hearings.
A local disability attorney will be familiar with the most current regulations of the Social Security Administration (SSA) during the initial stages of your SSDI or SSI claim.
However, they’ll also have experience working with Administrative Law Judges and understanding their expectations and preferences.
Since a hearing with an ALJ is usually when a claimant has the best chance for successfully appealing a claim denial, the right lawyer advocating on your behalf can be crucial.
Atlanta Attorneys for VA Disability
Proving a connection between your service and disability has multiple steps, and a VA disability claim can take months or even years to reach a decision.
While in the past Veterans haven’t been able to seek legal counsel for their benefits claims, Veterans’ advocacy groups petitioned the government to change the law in 2007. The law also protects Veterans with regard to legal fees and cases.
An attorney experienced in Veterans’ disability law can advise you, help you file appeals, assist you with proper and complete documentation, and can fight for you and with you as you navigate your next steps.
An attorney can also:
- Identify strategies to maximize your best pathway to winning your claim
- Help navigate multiple claims or appeals
- Appeal for a higher disability rating
Atlanta Disability Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation
If your workers’ comp claim is paid by your employer’s insurer after a workplace injury or illness, then there’s no need to consult a lawyer.
However, there are instances when a legal advocate can play a crucial role in your case.
Here are a few of the main situations when it’s time to call an attorney.
- Your employer punishes you, mistreats you, mishandles your claim, or won’t accommodate limitations on work activities determined by a doctor.
- You’ve been fired.
- You’re not receiving your benefits payments or injury-related medical treatment on time.
- Your injury leads to a terminal disability.
If once you are awarded benefits your checks are delayed, you may be entitled to additional compensation as a penalty of late payment. It’s often crucial to hire an attorney to ensure the insurance company pays these penalties.
In addition, delays in approval for medical treatment for workplace injuries can have devastating effects on your health. This is another situation where a lawyer may be necessary to advocate on your behalf.
If your Supplemental Security Income claim or your Social Security Disability Insurance claim have been denied, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck & Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 45 years. Sign up for a free case evaluation here, or call us (404) 990-3945.