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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13568
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I spoke with a Soc. Security law firm this morning and they

Customer Question

I spoke with a Soc. Security law firm this morning and they are willing to assist me in receiving SS disability. They intend to work for FREE and if I win this case, they want 25% of the initial award. What do you think? Also, do I have to visit a local SS office to apply for benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I think it is great that you reached out to a lawyer, and that fee is standard yes. That said, I can't opine of the quality of the firm or the lawyer that will be handing it. Did you vet the lawyer in particular? Any idea who you are hiring? Name? Years of experience? Years of specific SS experience? Does he / she practice ONLY SS and refrain from trying to practice multiple other areas, being perhaps a master of none. You want a lawyer that devote his/her time to SS, not one who dabbles while sharing his attention on other legal fields - that is asking for a lawyer who may not have a lot of time to keep on top of this field. Do your due diligence. If the firm you spoke with did not have you speak directly to the lawyer, it is likely (IMO) that it is a volume driven firm and your likelihood of free access to communicate with him/her during your case will be limited, if existing at all. So, you will want to know if that firm is exclusively SS or not. What is their procedure on communications? Do they have a policy on how fast they generally respond to your phone call, do they allow for and encourage emails? Do they have a client management platform you can access to see documents, share docs, message each other? SSD is a unique area of practice that really begs for very open and complete communication of relevant events, treatments and questions from clients along the way. Make sure you have that in your lawyer. Shop around. No also you need not restrain yourself ot ILLINOIS. THis is federal, so many of us practice in Illinois even if we are not in Illinois, as often even the SSA people working on your case won't be in Illinios. It is very technology driven with the times, which gives you more options.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Oh, and depending on the quality of your lawyer, no, you should NOT have to make an appearance at the SSA office. You shouldn't even have to make an appearance at the lawyer's office. If he/she is experienced, she will know all the relevant questions to evaluate your case and how to align your answers with the law. If they require an eyeball meeting with you, it may be because they don't realize that it is document driven field of law, that in person meetings can actually detract from the quality of the case development, or they may not be adept at analyzing your case with an indepth phone consultation. These would be red flags to me.

If you haven't signed a 1696 with them yet, you are fine - time to do your due diligence. It may be they are wonderful and will treat you and your claim wonderfully, but you will want to ask questions of them or otherwise research them.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. It is Stephanie Joy,checking back with you. It is month end for my office accounting - Please,if you haven't yet had the opportunity to do either of the items below, I ask that you do so now, because it is the only way I can receive credit for time spent with you. Please:

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