If you or someone you love has had their ability to provide for themselves threatened due to a disability, you're likely entitled to relief and assistance from the social security administration. However, many people find themselves intimidated by the associated large bureaucracy and end up settling for amounts that are far less than they may be entitled to.
Hiring an attorney to oversee your social security claim can be an excellent decision in these instances. Below, you'll find a guide to some of the questions you should be sure to ask that attorney. Having these answers will put you on the path toward a settlement that will protect your rights and help secure your financial future:
Ask About Outside Experts
In most cases, you or your loved one will have a firm medical diagnosis before you even apply for social security benefits. However, when claims are contended, the veracity of these doctors' reports may be called into question and the government may even assert accusations of bias against physicians you've known for years.
Because of these potential credibility challenges, your attorney may deem it necessary to acquire an outside medical opinion. You should ask about the steps you need to take to secure this opinion, as well as ask about how much control you have over picking a physician that you're comfortable with.
Ask About An On-The-Record Request
The government is obligated to oppose a large percentage of social security claims in order to keep the program as cost controlled as possible. As such, even if your claim is clearly valid, you may still be faced with a legal fight that seems unfair and borderline absurd.
If you believe your case is one of an unambiguous disability, you can ask your attorney about filing an on-the-record request. This will allow a judge to make an immediate determination at a preliminary hearing, and has the potential to significantly expedite the process of receiving your settlement.
Ask About Expense Reimbursements
For many people, a disability hearing is an essential part of their financial future. As such, the costs associated with your legal proceedings may seem daunting if you don't have a full understanding of what's expected of you. Therefore, it's important that you have a thorough and up front understanding of your expected reimbursements before the process begins. This will allow you to more accurately plan for your financial future, and may even provide the opportunity to have some of those costs rolled into your settlement.
To learn more, contact a company like Freeman & Freeman with any questions or concerns you have.