You've come to the right place. If you or someone you know is unable to work because of a long-term disability, a social security disability law office can help. Disabled workers may be eligible to receive social security disability (SSD) benefits from the government.
Use FindLaw to find a social security disability lawyer near you to help guide you through the claims process and resolve any problems that arise with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and SSDI benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the largest of several United States Federal programs with the purpose of providing assistance to persons with disabilities. Workers pay into SSDI out of their paychecks. When a worker suffers an injury or disability, they can file a claim to get benefits if they are no longer able to work. Before a disabled worker can get SSDI benefits, they have to qualify and go through the application process. Unfortunately, some workers in California are improperly denied benefits and have to turn to a Social Security disability lawyer for legal advice.
Disabled workers can file their own claim or a Social Security disability attorney can help you file a claim. After you find a Social Security disability attorney, your lawyer can advise you of your rights and options, help you compile the medical records necessary to support your claim, and file the claim with the appropriate Social Security Administration (SSA) office near Berkeley, California. If your claim is denied, your experienced attorney can handle the appeal to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
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You or your disability attorney can request a Social Security disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An appeal has to be requested within 60 days after you receive notice of the SSA decision. If your appeal is filed too late, your claim may be dismissed. Claimants have the right to legal representation during the hearing. The hearing may be in-person or through video teleconference.
Your Social Security disability lawyer can submit any additional evidence to the judge before the hearing. During the hearing, the judge may question the applicant, and ask to hear from witnesses and the applicant's doctors. You and your lawyer may also be able to question any witnesses and submit additional evidence. After the hearing, the judge will provide a written decision regarding your claim.
Consider the following:
- Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
- How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
- How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
- Is the lawyer's office conveniently located near you?
Many people who need to find a lawyer in California have never hired a lawyer before. Talking to a lawyer may be a new experience and you might want some help getting started. Here are some questions you may want to ask a lawyer before deciding who to hire.
What is your main practice area?
How many years of experience do you have in California with cases like mine?
How often do you take cases to trial or settle them out of court?
Can I take my case through mediation or arbitration?
Do you offer a free consultation?
What are your fees and costs?
Will you be the attorney primarily handling my case?
How will I be kept up-to-date about my case?
In order to practice law in California, attorneys have to both pass the California bar exam and be admitted by the State Bar of California. Most attorneys in California graduate from an accredited law school but some lawyers are admitted through on-the-job experience for a minimum of 4 years and through passing an additional legal exam. After a lawyer is admitted to law practice in California, they can practice in almost any area of law.
Lawyers in California are held to strict ethical guidelines known as the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorneys may have duties and limitations in:
Duty of client advocacy
Conflicts of interest
Duty of candor
Limitations in soliciting clients
Restrictions on handling a client's money
Many people avoid calling a lawyer because they are worried it will be too expensive. In many cases, a lawyer can end up saving the client money. This includes getting an increased award, recovering additional damages, avoiding financial problems in the future, and avoiding future disputes and litigation. Some legal areas even allow the lawyer to recover legal fees from the party at fault.