If you’ve started your search for a Social Security disability attorney online, chances are you’re overwhelmed by just how many options there are. But there are a few factors you’ll want to consider before making a final decision.
One of these factors is location. Although claimants are frequently represented by nationwide disability attorneys, there are a few benefits to choosing a disability attorney close by.
How local are we talking here? Your disability attorney doesn’t have to work right down the street from your house. However, it’s a good idea to at least hire someone from your state. It’s even better to hire a disability attorney with a proven history of representing claimants from your area.
But what sets apart local disability attorneys from the rest? Here are three reasons you may want to hire a local Indiana disability attorney.
1. Local Disability Attorneys Are Easily Accessible
Perhaps the most obvious reason for hiring a local disability attorney is simply accessibility. It’s a lot easier to get a hold of your attorney if they’re in the same time zone as you. At Hensley Legal Group, we even schedule home visits with local, prospective clients to go over their questions in person.
The fact is that it’s easier to ignore a call from one of millions of clients across the nation than one from a client you live in community with. Local disability attorneys not only are able to foster a more personal working relationship with their clients, but they also have much more at stake if their local clients walk away unhappy with their service. It doesn’t take too long for word to circle through a community that a certain attorney doesn’t return phone calls, for example, or is difficult to work with. Compare that to the effectiveness of a lone negative review on a nationwide law firm’s website.
2. Local Disability Attorneys Are Familiar with the Disability Determination Bureau
The Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) is a state-run agency that reviews initial applications for disability benefits and requests for reconsideration (also known as appeals).
If you hire an out-of-state attorney, your case manager may not have experience with your state’s DDB. On the other hand, if you hire a local disability attorney, their office will likely have daily contact with your state’s DDB. At Hensley Legal Group, for example, we work in the same city as the DDB. Many of our case managers, in fact, previously worked at the DDB. With that kind of familiarity, you can trust a local disability law firm to know exactly how to handle your claim through the initial application and appeals processes.
3. Local Disability Attorneys Are Familiar with Your Judges
If you get denied after your initial application and your request for reconsideration, the next step is to file a request for hearing. This allows you to go before an administrative law judge (ALJ) and plead your case in person and explain why you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
If you hire an out-of-state attorney, they may be meeting your ALJ for the first time at your hearing. They likely won’t know the personality of the judge simply because they don’t have much experience with them.
However, if you hire a local Indiana disability attorney, you’ll be hiring someone who appears in front of your local ALJs on a regular basis. They’ll be familiar with their preferences and personalities and will be able to use that experience to represent your claim thoroughly at your hearing.
Help from an Indiana Disability Attorney
Local disability attorneys aren’t inherently better than nationwide ones. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences. What matters most is your comfort with and confidence in the attorney you choose to represent your disability claim.
At Hensley Legal Group, we have offices in Merrillville, Muncie, Evansville, and Indianapolis, and we serve disabled Hoosiers throughout the entire state. We have the experience and strength to make a difference in your disability claim. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your case.