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Flint Journal ‘Ask the Attorney’ Column

Q.    I am waiting for a hearing on my disability claim. Should I get a lawyer?

A.    I recommend that you obtain a lawyer specializing in Social Security Disability as soon as possible–at least several months before the hearing. A good lawyer will interview you personally and thoroughly regarding your medical conditions and functional limitations, and can explain what you need to prove to secure benefits. A good lawyer can develop a plan with you regarding what evidence to develop and submit before and during the hearing. Unfortunately, I get dozens of calls each year from disabled people who have already lost their claim at the hearing, who either never hired a lawyer, or who hired somebody far from Flint, through a TV or internet ad, and they never even got to talk to their representative (sometimes, a non-lawyer)  until 10 minutes before the start of the hearing. This is, in my opinion, not a good way to prepare these cases for a hearing. I strongly recommend that you obtain a lawyer experienced in Social Security cases who will meet with you early in the process that can properly prepare your case in advance of the hearing. Social Security attorneys usually charge a contingent fee of 25% of past due benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000, only if benefits are recovered. There are a number of experienced Social Security attorneys located here in Genesee County who do a great job for their clients. If you would like a free consultation regarding your claim, feel free to contact me at the number below.