Hello. My name is Daniel Gregory, attorney with the Law Office of J. Daniel Gregory. Our firm has been representing DFW residents in their Social Security disability claims for over a decade.
I want to share with you the 4 requirements your social security disability lawyer should possess to give you the best chance of building a winning case.
1. Hire an actual ATTORNEY to handle your Social Security Disability Claim.
This should go without saying, right? It sounds obvious. You may ask, “Then who else would I hire to represent me, Daniel?”
Here’s why I make such a point of this:
The Social Security Administration allows non-attorneys to represent people on their disability claims.
I often get calls from individuals who have already been denied a Social Security disability claim. Many times, I find out that they were represented by a non-attorney during their first case.
So imagine this – they’ve been waiting for a year in some cases, hoping for great news, only to discover their claim has been denied. Now they’re right back where they started, a whole year later, more frustrated than ever before.
In my experience, there are a few glaring problems with non-attorney representatives that lead to the scenario I described above.
- They don’t have a background in law.
- They haven’t passed a bar exam.
- They’re not even subject to the State Bar of Texas ethics rules.
- The Social Security disability judge organization has specifically said that non-attorney representatives don’t do as good of a job as attorneys do.
And here’s the kicker with all this:
The legal fee (which is only paid if you win) is set by SSA, and you get no discount for hiring a less-qualified non-attorney representative. This means that it costs you $0 more to work with an experienced attorney vs. a non-attorney representative who has no legal education.
If you could have a mouth-watering steak for the same price as drive-thru cheeseburger, would you take that deal? I know this native Texan would!
If the fee is the same, be sure to hire the most experienced, most educated, most qualified person to represent you.
2. Choose an attorney to represent you who sees you like a client to be represented, not a case to be processed.
Do you want your claim processed by a high-quantity, low-quality law firm where you’re just a number in your system? Of course not.
You’ve seen the commercials and billboards for the huge law firms that handle cases nationwide. They promise lots of experience, but their experience is in running a “cattle call” system where they merely process cases and don’t spend any time to get to know and understand their clients in a personal way.
Understanding your personal needs and obstacles – and developing a strategy to address those – is how you build a winning case for a Social Security disability claim. This isn’t a cookie-cutter area of law. Your case is unique. To win, you need an attorney who will invest time and energy to get to know you, and to help you personally build a unique case.
I tell clients to go with their gut on this. Are you getting a bad feeling that you may be “just a number” to your law firm? If so, don’t wait around until your case is delayed or even lost. Find a lawyer you can trust today.
3. You need an attorney with home field advantage.
In a disability claim, simply being disabled does NOT win your claim. What wins a disability claim is having good, solid medical proof that you are disabled.
But what medical testing do you need to provide? Does your doctor provide good medical records? Do you have enough evidence? This is where the home field advantage comes into play.
You may need specialized testing or evaluations from certain medical specialists in order to prove your case. You might need free or low-cost medical care and don’t know where to go. If that happens, you want someone who knows the local doctors, hospitals and clinics who can perform specialized testing and evaluations. You need someone who knows the local low-cost and free medical clinics.
I was born and bred in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of North Texas, and I personally know many local doctors who can perform specialized testing and evaluations. I know about local low-cost and free medical clinics. I can give you personalized recommendations to get the medical proof you must have to win your claim.
Nationwide law firms from Utah, California, New York, or elsewhere don’t know the Dallas/Fort Worth medical community like a local lawyer who was born and lived his whole life here.
A local lawyer will know the local doctors and clinics, and can get you “home field advantage.” You’re on your own with out-of-town lawyer who doesn’t know our community.
4. Your attorney should have a special focus in social security disability claims.
There are quite a few attorneys and law firms out there who practice many different areas of law. They will dabble on the side with Social Security Disability, but it’s not what they spend the majority of their time, focus or effort on. Since Social Security disability is not their focus, they likely don’t know the latest legal developments or rules that can be used to win your claim.
Remember, the fees are the same, regardless of who you hire. Do you want an attorney who dabbles some with Social Security disability as a side business? Or do you want a lawyer who devotes all of his time, effort, and energy on Social Security disability claims?
Check out the FAQ section of our website for more information about the types of questions and content a Social Security Disability attorney should be sharing with you.
Choose an attorney who meets these 4 requirements, and you will be well on your way to building a winning Social Security Disability Claim.
If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and would like for my team to review your Social Security Disability case, we are happy to take a look, free of charge.
If you’re reading this during our business hours (8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday), please call our office at (817) 338-0608.
You can also click here to complete our web form, and we will call you back within 24 hours to complete your case review.