Every year, tens of thousands of people file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These two programs offer monthly financial support to people who are disabled to the point that they can no longer work.
If you are in a position to seek disability benefits because of an injury or condition that renders you unable to perform work in any economy, you may feel burdened by your emotional reaction to the changes in your life. You may also be overwhelmed by the onslaught of paperwork, laws, and regulations put in place surrounding disability benefit programs.
Seeking legal advice at a time like this isn’t only for people who have already been denied disability benefits or are in a state of appeal. A strong, local disability attorney can make the process of seeking SSDI or SSI simpler for you from the very beginning of your case.
But where do you start?
If you’re searching for “ssi lawyers near me”, what characteristics should stand out to you? Most likely, you’ve not worked with a disability attorney before. Here’s what to look for when seeking an SSI lawyer.
What are SSDI and SSI?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal government income program for those who haven’t paid enough taxes into the Social Security Administration system to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
SSI is funded by general tax dollars, not Social Security taxes, however, it is managed by the SSA. For those over 65 who are blind or disabled, and have little to no income, SSI provides monthly benefits to meet basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter for a disabled person and their household. These benefits can dramatically improve your quality of life and are a benefit you deserve.
Why Should I Work With an SSI Lawyer Near Me?
Hiring local helps you with administrative judges, staff, and the know-how of local procedures
When you hire a local disability lawyer instead of a lawyer from an out-of-state or national law firm, you have a distinct advantage in the process of gaining disability benefits. First of all, a local, experienced lawyer will know the administrative law judges (ALJ) and will know what each ALJ looks for, specifically, in a disability case. With decades of specific dedication to these areas of law, a firm becomes very familiar with the local hearing offices and the ALJs who will hear your case. Knowing each judge’s style, preferences, and demeanor is invaluable in presenting a client’s disability claim for benefits. That gives a local attorney a distinct advantage over another firm, and that advantage is passed on to you and your claim.
Hiring Local Serves Your Community
When choosing a disability law firm, it’s important that the attorney you choose has experience with Social Security disability claims. A local disability lawyer serves your community. They know the local employers, businesses, and people in your area. And as the client, you have a right and a responsibility to ask questions about a potential legal representative. Here are a few questions to ask:
- How long has the firm handled disability claims? How many cases have their lawyers handled?
- Do they specialize in other practice areas, or are they focused only on Social Security disability law?
- Do the attorneys handle the cases, or do case managers do the bulk of the work instead? Am I, as the client, able to contact my attorney about pressing questions?
- How will my disability law firm be paid if my claim is approved?
Local Attorneys Bring a Trusted ReputatioN
The right local lawyer for disability claims in Georgia should be a trusted partner in your disability claim. But how do you know how to choose the right one? A law firm with accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a good place to start. The BBB analyzes a businesses response to complaints or questions about their business practice, and will lend their good name to businesses who promptly resolve problems and are seen as trustworthy business partners for the community.
You can also read online reviews to see which law firms are timely in their responses to comments and questions. Social Media is a good resource to see local feedback to different attorneys, and to see how well that attorney group communicates with the public.
A Local Attorney Can Help You Win Your Case
At Affleck & Gordon, we have represented tens of thousands of clients at hearings across Georgia. When you hire an attorney to assist with your Social Security disability claim, you are entering into a partnership with long-term goals. You not only need a qualified, experienced attorney who knows the local system, cares about you and your case, and handles it directly, you will also need a support team who treats you with the kindness and respect you deserve.
If you’ve never hired an attorney before, it can be an intimidating experience. However, they know the legal aspects of your problem and want to help, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance with legal challenges. If you choose to interact with them as a partner instead of an adversary, there’s a good chance you’ll have a better working relationship. As the client, remember that your attorney works for you, and that at the end of the day, the relationship matters as much as the attorney’s knowledge of the law.
If your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim has been denied, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck and Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 40 years. Sign up for a free case evaluation here, or call us (404) 373-1649.