Disability lawyers are one of the most important types of lawyers in the country. Due to the huge demand for disability lawyers, the field of disability law is expanding each year as more people who have been disabled become eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Because disability lawyers receive only if they win, disability lawyers sometimes refuse to represent a disabled person if they feel that there’s little chance of either success or if they decide that if the disabled person is approved, there usually will be little or no benefit payments to which they’ll be able to be recompensed…
So what can you do if you’re having trouble finding good disability lawyers? One way is to ask friends and relatives whether they know of any good disability lawyers. Another is to do an internet search for disability lawyers. You can also ask your local bar association for recommendations. Still another way to locate competent disability lawyers is to use the yellow pages and contact the office of your local U.S. attorney.
It’s important to note, though, that disability lawyers are not the same as disability attorneys. A disability attorney is an attorney who specializes in disability law. Whereas disability lawyers handle all different types of disability issues including Social Security, disability discrimination, worker’s compensation, and other disability issues, a disability attorney handles cases dealing with Social Security and worker’s compensation only. (Social Security and worker’s compensation are separate issues, but they often come up in the same disability lawyer case.) You should also keep in mind that although disability lawyers are qualified lawyers, disability attorneys are not the same as psychologists or therapists-that is, they do not specialize in these areas.
In addition, disability lawyers are not the same as lawyers who represent complainants in administrative law suits. When it comes to these types of cases, disability lawyers represent the government or the employer. The U.S. Department of Labor, for example, hires disability attorneys to argue cases before administrative law judges. These administrative law judges are U.S. attorneys who are appointed by the President and must follow the law.
There are two types of lawyers you may encounter when you’re researching for a disability attorney: those who work exclusively with the government’s Office of Disability Discrimination (OTSD) and those who work with private employers (e.g., labor unions). If you’re filing a case within the U.S., your Disability Attorney may be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor. If you’re filing in a state other than the United States, your Disability Attorney may be affiliated with the Department of Social Services. Your disability attorney may be part of an agency of a corporation-e.g., the ADA’s Commission on Disabilities may be represented by disability lawyers from the Commission on Disability. The disability applicant should research these points so that he or she can understand what’s expected of them.
Many disability attorneys also provide specific legal services that are not included in their areas of specialization. To make sure you have the best representation, you should interview several disability attorneys so that you can get a sense of their knowledge and experience as well as the costs they will charge. The disability applicants may also contact the American Bar Association to request information about the rates of disability attorneys charge and if any of the attorneys has been sued. The American Bar Association’s website includes a list of disability lawyers specializing in a variety of legal areas.
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