Should I Hire a Social Security Attorney or a Non-Attorney Social Security Advocate?
You have the choice of hiring a social security attorney or a non-attorney advocate. Both will only charge you if you win and both will follow the same regulated fee structure which is 25 percent of back pay up to the fee cap currently set at $6,000. A disability lawyer has graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. A disability advocate has a bachelor’s degree and has passed an exam administered by the Social Security Administration. A social security attorney can appeal your claim beyond the administrative level if necessary and an advocate cannot. Social security lawyers are bound by the rules of ethics and must keep privileged information confidential. An advocate does not.
Before hiring a social security attorney or an advocate you should ask whether he or she has handled a social security disability claim in the past. How many social security claims has he or she handled and for how many years? Will the social security attorney or advocate appeal the claim for you if you are denied? Will the disability attorney or advocate write an argument for you if necessary? Is the social security disability attorney or advocate local and familiar with the local judges and preferences?
The regulations are unique and complex. Give yourself the best possible chance to win your disability claim and have an experienced social security disability lawyer on your side.