You’re out of work because your health problems won’t let you continue. You need the financial assistance that comes with Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The steps for getting benefits are complicated and loaded with legwork.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help. But how do you pick an SSD lawyer?
This isn’t like shopping for shoes. You need someone familiar with complex medical conditions and knowledgeable about thousands of government regulations.
And this is your life we’re talking about. It’s about protecting your future stability and well-being.
You need someone who provides personal care and attention—for you.
At Geary Disability Law, we help people in Appleton, Green Bay, throughout the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin get disability benefits. Whether you choose us as your disability law firm or not, we think it’s important that you choose your disability attorney well.
So we prepared questions you can ask—about a lawyer’s background and approach to your claim—that can guide you in finding the right lawyer for you.
Keep reading below for the full guide. Or to ask us more, reach out any time.
Ask a lawyer you are considering for your Social Security Disability claim the questions below.
If you get the right answers back, it’s a sign that you may be talking to the right SSD lawyer and disability law firm for you:
1. How much experience do you have with disability cases?
Experience is always a starting point. Make sure your potential disability attorney has been through the process many times before. Ask about years of legal experience and number of cases handled. Wisconsin disability lawyer Tim Geary, for example, has handled thousands of cases over more than 15 years of practicing disability law.
2. How much of your practice is focused on Social Security Disability?
It’s common for lawyers and law firms to take multiple different kinds of legal cases. That’s OK in itself, but you should be aware that Social Security Disability is a highly specific area of law. Social Security has its own regulations and maintains its own internal legal system, including its own judges, for deciding people’s disability claims.
You might encounter a law firm that treats disability claims as a side business. You don’t want that. Make sure they have a substantial dedication to disability cases. Geary Disability Law, as the name suggests, is all about these cases.
3. Where is your law firm located? What communities do you serve?
You may see promotions for national disability law firms based somewhere far away that handle mass numbers of cases from all over America.
In a time when you need personal attention for your needs, this may not be the best way to go. Look for a disability lawyer who is dedicated to your local community. That’s a sign they may care more about you personally, too.
And a local disability lawyer will be familiar with local health care services, local disability judges, and what it’s like to work with your local Social Security office.
Geary Disability Law is for people in Appleton, Green Bay, the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.
Another thing: You should always be able to talk to a disability law firm for an initial review of your case without any cost to you.
Once you find an experienced, local disability lawyer who puts a high priority on representing people with SSD claims, consider the way they work, and whether it works for you:
1. Will I get to work directly with my lawyer?
Sometimes you may not see or hear often from your lawyer himself or herself, and instead you’ll work with paralegals and assistants. The legal support team can take care of important work on your claim, but make sure you also get to talk directly with your lawyer, in person if it’s possible for you.
It may be getting old fashioned, but at Geary Disability Law, we believe in the value of meeting you face to face.
2. Will you help with my initial application for disability benefits?
We think it’s better when you can get professional-quality help from your first, initial application.
First off, having a disability lawyer from the start saves you work, helps you avoid errors, and possibly avoids delays and denials. And if you’re still denied, you’ll have somebody already familiar with your case and able to jump on filing your appeal quickly.
Whether you work with a lawyer all along, or only to appeal, there’s no cost difference to you. You only pay an attorney fee when you win benefits.
3. Will my lawyer meet with me ahead of time to help prepare for my hearing with a disability judge?
It may seem obvious that you want to meet with your lawyer in advance of going to a disability hearing and answering questions from a judge. But not all lawyers work this way. Some lawyers may only meet with you the day of your hearing, or right before.
At Geary Disability Law, you’ll have a pre-hearing conference with your disability lawyer well beforehand, to make sure you’re well prepared.
Choosing a disability lawyer is a high-stakes decision. It’s about protecting your rights, achieving a more secure financial future, and making sure you’re treated with dignity and respect along the way.
For people in Wisconsin, Geary Disability Law is here to support you.
“Helped me every step of the way, and won my case for me. I am not rich, and he had my best interests at heart. I would highly recommend him, as I have already done, several times.”