If you are seeking social security benefits, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing a lawyer to represent you. Michael O. Smith is a Boston social security attorney with more than 15 years of experience representing clients in their social security matters. Mr. Smith has helped clients appeal denials of their claims, including representing them at hearings before the Social Security Administration (Administration). If your application for social security benefits was denied, please contact us today.
Why Hire An Attorney Representative?
You have the right to be represented by an attorney if you are seeking social security disability income (SSDI) and/or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. Obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits is not a straightforward process: there are very strict eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify for benefits. In many cases, an application is initially denied, and must be appealed. If an application is approved, a claimant may subsequently lose benefits if the Administration determines that the claimant is no longer disabled. With the help of an attorney, you can potentially obtain benefits even if your claim is initially denied or if you stop receiving benefits.
An attorney can help you prepare a strong foundation to appeal a denial for your SSDI or SSI claim by:
- Promptly initiating the appeals process
- Obtaining medical records or additional documents to show the extent of your disability
- Preparing you and any witnesses for a hearing
- Representing you at the hearing
- Cross-examining vocational and medical experts present at the hearing
An attorney can act quickly if your claim is denied to secure your right to reconsideration or a hearing. If the Administration determines that you are no longer disabled, an attorney can file the appropriate paperwork to ensure you continue to receive benefits while the decision is appealed.
Factors To Consider When Hiring An Attorney
You should consider the following when choosing an attorney for your social security matter:
- Years of experience in the area of disability law, particularly in the Boston area
- Familiarity with the appeals process and his or her experience at hearings
- Ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- Explain how other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, can affect your claim
- Accessibility to the attorney as well as any support staff
- Professionalism and attentiveness
An attorney cannot guarantee or make promises as to the outcome of your case, but should provide you with an honest assessment of your case and ways in which to strengthen it.
An attorney cannot charge you a fee without prior written approval from the Administration; however, you may be charged for out-of-pocket expenses (copies of medical reports, for example). The fee charged by an attorney must be the lower of 25 percent of any past-due benefits or $6,000. The fee will be paid from the benefits owed to you.
Seasoned Social Security Attorney
Boston social security lawyer Michael O. Smith is a seasoned attorney with extensive experience in the area of disability law. Mr. Smith is well-versed in the appeals process. He can provide the legal guidance and advocacy you need to appeal a denial of your SSDI or SSI claim. Mr. Smith will go over your file and spot any potential issues. He will work with your physicians and healthcare providers to obtain the necessary documentation to support your disability claim. Mr. Smith can also represent you at a hearing before an administrative law judge. We offer initial consultations at no cost. To schedule an appointment in our Boston office, please call us at 617-263-0060 or contact us online today.