Finding a Social Security disability attorney can feel like an overwhelming task. But there are a few factors you’ll want to consider that can make choosing a disability attorney easier.
One factor is location. Disability claimants are often represented by nationwide disability attorneys – and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there are a few benefits to choosing a disability attorney that has a local office close by.
How local are we talking? Well, we don’t mean they work right down the street! But it’s a good idea to at least hire someone from your state. It’s an even better idea to hire an attorney with a track record of helping claimants in your area.
What makes a local Social Security disability attorney a good choice? Here are 3 reasons why.
1. A local Social Security disability attorney is more accessible
National law firms with millions of clients don’t have the time to foster a personal relationship with every person they work with. Local attorneys, on the other hand, have the time and the motivation to maintain a good standard with their clients in the community. One negative review on Google would be much worse for a local attorney than a giant law firm.
But the most obvious reason why you might want a local attorney is accessibility. They don’t have a company headquarters in another state with a different time zone. They are a member of the community, just like you. At Hensley Legal Group, we even schedule face-to-face visits with prospective clients at their home, business, or local coffee shop to go over questions. The issues affecting you are the same that affect us: we also offer completely contactless signups and virtual visits to keep you and the community safe.
2. A local disability attorney is 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).
An out-of-state attorney probably won’t have experience with your state’s DDB. But if you hire a local attorney, your case manager 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. In fact many of our case managers previously worked at the DDB. With that level of familiarity, you can trust a local disability law firm to know exactly how to handle your claim whether you are filing for the first time or if you’ve been denied and are filing a request for reconsideration.
3. A local disability attorney is familiar with your judges
If you get denied after your initial application and your request for reconsideration, your next step will be to file a request for hearing. During your hearing, you will go before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to explain why you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You get to plead your case in your own words.
There are four hearing offices in Indiana. If you hire a local disability attorney, you’ll be working with someone who appears in front of your local ALJs on a regular basis. They know the judges’ personalities and preferences and can use that knowledge to your advantage during your hearing.
An out-of-state disability attorney probably won’t be familiar with local ALJs, and your hearing may be the first time they meet the judge. You want a representative who feels comfortable in the courtroom and can tell you what to expect.
Help from a Lafayette Social Security Disability Attorney
Local attorneys aren’t inherently better than nationwide ones. In the end it comes down to your personal preference, who makes you feel the most comfortable, and who you would want to represent your disability claim.
At Hensley Legal Group, we serve disabled Hoosiers across the state from our offices in Merrillville, Muncie, Evansville, Fishers, Indianapolis, and now Lafayette. We have the strength to make a difference in your Social Security disability claim. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your case.