Ten Questions to Ask Before
Hiring an Attorney
Before hiring a
representative in a Social Security case, please consider
1. Is the person
a lawyer? Lawyers study the cases that are decided in
court as well as the rules and regulations. This gives
you better representation.
2. How many
years experience and how many cases has the
representative handled. Obviously, a person with only a
few years experience has less skill and a person who only
sees a few clients has less experience. Doesn't it make
sense to have a skilled and capable
3. How much
training does the representative get each year. Those who
focus their practice on Social Security cases usually
join the National Organization of Social Security
Representatives and attend at least one or more seminars
sponsored by NOSSCR each year. Lawyers are required by
their ethical rules to continue to get more training and
stay up to date on the law.
4. Is the
representative a member of NOSSCR? If they are not, this
is usually a sign of less professional knowledge simply
because NOSSCR provides monthly updates on the rules and
what is happening with Social Security.
5. Will your
representative help you complete all the forms that you
must file to pursue your claim? If the representative
tells you to "come back when a hearing is scheduled" or
wait until you are denied and it is time for a hearing
request, then your representative will have allowed many
misstatements to make their way into your file.
6. Will your
representative get your file in advance of the hearing
and go over the evidence before the hearing date? Going
into the hearing and reading over the file just thirty
minutes before the hearing is a sign of weak
7. Will your
representative prepare a written statement about the
evidence and use that to persuade the judge at your
hearing to find you are disabled? This is a sign of a
representative who puts out additional effort for your
8. Will your
representative meet with you several days before the
hearing to discuss what you should expect at the hearing?
If not, you are going to that hearing less well
9. Will your
representative take your appeal all the way to federal
court? If not, why not? If the representative is not
licensed to do this, will you be given a referral to
someone who is able to do that appeal?
10. How does
your representative get most of the cases that he/she
handles? If it is by the referral of other clients, then
you know that he/she has done a good job for many people
in the past.
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