How to Work with a Lawyer (New Applications)

Artwork: Robin Mead


Lawyers don’t get paid unless you win. Some people think this is a great thing. It is not a great thing.

Lawyers get a percent of your backpay. The sooner you win, the less money they get. If every client got approved in three months, the lawyer would probably go bankrupt.

It is your choice if you want a lawyer at this point. Most lawyers will help you by filing the basic paperwork and sending in your medical records, but unless you get really lucky, it will take 2-3 years to get approved.

If you want the best chance to be approved sooner than this, it is great to try to do as much as you can to improve your case yourself.

Sleepy Girl Lawyer Tips

πŸ€ You do not need a lawyer for an initial application. You can get one if you want one.

πŸ€ Many people feel more peace of mind having a lawyer.

πŸ€ Most lawyers will not charge you anything now. They will get paid a percent of your backpay.

πŸ€ If you are to ill to fill out a form or make a phone call, and you do not have anyone who can help you, trying to get a lawyer can be a very good idea.

πŸ€ Most lawyers will have someone in their office who will ask you questions and fill out the basic paperwork for you. You can also do this same thing by making an appointment with a caseworker at Social Security who will ask you questions and fill out the basic paperwork for you.

πŸ€ Many lawyers will collect your medical records and send them to Social Security. This can be a big help. If you cannot collect your own records, a lawyer may be a good idea.

πŸ€ It is a good idea to find out if your lawyer is really going to to collect all your records right now. Some lawyers wait and just let Social Security collect your records now. Then two years from now before the appeal the lawyer collects more records.

πŸ€ Many lawyers do not do a lot to improve your chances of getting approved quickly. If you are able to take some steps on your own, or with assistance from friends and family, you will be able to help your application a great deal.

πŸ€ Lawyers can be very helpful with appeals and hearings. That will happen in two or three years from now. If you think that you will be appealing for the next two years, you might as well get your lawyer now. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to get one early.

πŸ€ At this point, lawyers cannot access your Social Security file electronically (later, when you appeal, they will be able to). Right now, your lawyer does not know any more than you do about your file. If you want to find out what is there, and make sure nothing got misplaced or went missing, you will need to contact Social Security and check yourself.

πŸ€ If you are homeless or may become homeless look into The Amazing SOAR Program. They are much, much faster than lawyers and their success rate is much, much higher than lawyers. Most SOAR programs require a history of mental illness.

πŸ€ Some lawyers don’t take initial applications. Don’t worry if this happens, you will be able to find one later if you need to appeal. You can also try contacting several different lawyers to see.

πŸ€Β In my opinion, finding the right doctor is approximately 10 billion times more important than finding the right lawyer.Β At the end of the day, your medical records will probably matter more than anything your lawyer says or does.

πŸ€ The best doctor is a doctor who understands how sick you are, believes you are disabled, and is willing to fill out some disability paperwork for you. In most cases, this is far more important than the best lawyer.

πŸ€ In most cases, your lawyer will not tell you what you need to do to improve your application. That’s why you are here. I will tell you.

πŸ€ Don’t just take my word for it, take Patty’s word for it: How Patty’s Lawyer Never Told Her What She Needed to Know

πŸ€ Here is a list with some goodΒ  places to find lawyers.

Updated May 2017 πŸ€

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