Should you ask a Disability Lawyer About Their Win Rate and How Many Cases They get Approved?
There are many questions to ask a potential Social Security Disability representative (who can be a disability lawyer or a non-attorney) before signing with them to provide representation on your claim. Examples of good starting questions would be:
1. What is the fee for representation? (answer: Social Security Disability Lawyers - Fees and Representation Information).
2. How long does a disability appeal take? (answer: How long does it take to appeal a disability case?).
3. What does a disability lawyer do to help a claim? (What does a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Representative do for your claim?).
3. What does preparation for a disability hearing include? (Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits ).
4. How likely is it that the case will be won at the hearing level if a hearing becomes necessary? (answer: What are the chances of winning a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing?).
If you are speaking with a possible representative to handle your Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim, should you ask about their win rate? You can, but the answer would, most likely be meaningless. If the representative were to tell you that they have a 90-99 percent win ratio, this would mean nothing if it turned out that the only cases they took were those that were sure winners.
Note: This happens to be very true for many lawfirms that advertise exceptionally high win rates as they heavily screen the claimants who contact them and only take that A) Those cases that will be decided by a federal judge at a social security hearing and B) Those cases in which the chances of losing are fairly low, assuming that the case has been properly prepared and is properly presented before an ALJ (administrative law judge).
Conversely, there are excellent attorneys and non-attorney reps who have a lower win ratio (say, 75 percent) who provide optimal and even superior representation but have a lower win ratio because they do not "cherry pick" their cases.
Claimants who are seeking representation on a disability claim should really be wary of lawyers, firms, and companies that advertise incredibly high win ratios because, in reality, this may have little to do with the quality of the representation they provide or their ability to win a case that requires more work and more development...versus a case that is simply a hands down winner and which may not even require representation.
One of the best barometers for choosing a disability lawyer or representative is simply whether or not they specialize solely in disability claims. Such individuals are more likely to know the SSA system intimately and are also more likely to be familiar with the tendencies of the individual judges (ALJs, or administrative law judges) at the social security hearings offices where their client's cases are heard.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability in North Carolina
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Disability Attorney North Carolina
What does a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative do for your claim?
Getting a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative for your case
How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
Disability Lawyers, Medical Records, and Social Security Hearings
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing case?
Does the disability attorney fee have a cap?
Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability, or get an answer on your claim?
Using a lawyer for a Social Security Disability, SSDI, case
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Arkansas
If you apply for disability in Arkansas