How Much Does A Social Security Disability Lawyer Cost in Spokane, WA?

You Can Hire a World-Class Social Security Disability Lawyer

For some, the concern about the cost of a great social security disability lawyer stops them from ever even picking up the phone to find out. We would all love to have the best disability attorney that money can buy, right!  But, we all remember that line, “you get what you pay for…”

Would you believe though, that in the world of Social Security Disability Lawyers, that’s not how it works at all?


You Can Hire a World-Class Social Security Disability Lawyer

 

We’ve covered in many ways how you can go about identifying who is a quality social security lawyer vs someone you should take an extra look at.  In fact, we’ve even covered how a lot of Social Security lawyers aren’t even located in town!  But, we’ve never covered how you can afford to work with any one of them.

That’s, right.  Whether they are a 5-Star, world-class Social Security Lawyer, or a brand new graduate from law school.  We know you can afford them because as an industry, we all charge the same thing.  And that’s been codified in law.

 

All Social Security Disability Lawyers Charge the Same Fees

 

Social Security Disability lawyers work on contingency.  This is different than other types of law, or lawyers who you might hire on a retainer like basis.   By this, we mean, many people often have a concept of lawyers being like an investment.   You pay into them, sometimes a lot of money, and they’ll either save you money (in mitigated costs) or earn you money (in lawsuit $) in the long run.

This couldn’t be further from the truth with Social Security Disability Lawyers, and that’s probably a good thing.  Remember, with SSI claims, claimants are in situations where they are asset restricted.  Meaning, there is a maximum income and asset profile for these benefits.  Even when talking about SSDI claims, most often claimants don’t have the personal assets to retain an attorney.

Fortunately, for the purposes of appealing a Social Security Disability claim, it costs you $0 to hire an attorney.  Whether they are the best, the worst, or someone in-between… it costs the same.

 

The Best, The Worst, Someone In-Between

 

The fact that Social Security Disability lawyers earn a living on contingency of getting your claim awarded, puts you as the claimant, and the consumer in an advantageous position.  You can shop around and find the right fit.

Take Spokane, for instance.  In Spokane, there are a number of Social Security Disability Lawyers and law firms.  We happen to believe Lilac City Law is the best Social Security law firm in Spokane, but of course we would.

Since all of the firms cost the same, you get to figure out which one you’d rather work with.  Don’t take too long though, as your claim/appeal is very depended on making sure many things are done in the proper order and within their respective deadlines.

 

So, How Much Will A Social Security Disability Lawyer Cost Me, and When?

 

We don’t want to mislead you in believing representation won’t have a fee.  It will, if we win.  But being that the fee is contingent upon a successful outcome, it will fall within a range depending on your claim.  That range, however, is capped at $6,000.

So, let’s start with that cap.  The most you’ll ever pay for Social Security Disability representation, if successful on your appeal, is $6,000.  And that $6,000 will most likely be deducted from your bulk payment award.

 

But…What if My Back Payment is Less than $6,000?

That’s an excellent question.  The cap as discussed above is in reality a maximum fee. You would not be paying that unless you had a back payment greater than ~$24,000.  This is because the fee for all claims is 25% of the back payment award with the cap being $6,000.

 

Break it Down for Me

Scenario #1: Let’s say you are awarded on appeal for 18 months of back-payment for an SSI Claim.  Your award will be in the ~$18k.  The fees charged for your claim will be based on 25% of your award.    $4,500 (out of the award – not out of pocket)

Scenario #2: Your claim is awarded on appeal and you will be getting approximately $5k in back payment.  The representation fees will be based on 25% of your award: 25% of $5k = $1,250 (out of the award – not out of pocket)

Scenario #3: Your claim is awarded on appeal and you will be receiving about ~$80k in back payment.  The representation fees will be based on 25% of your award but they will be capped at $6,000.  Attorney’s fees = $6,000 (out of the award – not out of pocket)

 *without the cap, you’d be paying ~$20k in fees! 

 

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How to Choose a Social Security Lawyer in Spokane

How to Choose a Social Security Lawyer in Spokane

 

If you’re looking for a Social Security Lawyer in Spokane, WA or northern Idaho here’s a checklist of five things to consider.

    • Are they actually located in Spokane?
    • Are they Connected to the Community of Spokane? 
    • Do they Help You to Understand Your Social Security Claim?
    • Are they an Expert 
    • Are they Approachable?

 

Are they actually located in Spokane?

 

These are perfectly legitimate question to ask any lawyer your considering working with.  Where are you located?  Can I visit you if I have questions?  Can we schedule a time to discuss my case?

It may surprise you to discover that some law firms that advertise in the Spokane area are not from Spokane at all.  In fact, they only rent an office space, just to have a local address.  Shocking, but we covered these types of misdirection in another article, here.

 

Are they Connected to the Community of Spokane? 

 

One of the biggest benefits to working with a local Social Security lawyer is that you benefit from the connections they’ve made in their work.  It’s very common that someone seeking the help of a Social Security lawyer has other support needs that are a natural handoff to someone who has a robust local network.  An excellent local law firm will have a list of, or at least referrals to, other excellent firms and resources available at request.

 

Do they Help You to Understand Your Social Security Claim?

 

It’s very important that you consider the commitment a local law firm places in helping you to understand your Social Security claim.  The process of appealing SSI & SSDI denials can be confusing, and it can be frustrating.  A great blog & newsletter might seem small when you’re first looking into representation, but these will be the first places you look when you want to know more about something like a reconsideration denial.

In a not so subtle way, a firm that commits to educating their clients is a firm that will be committed to bringing them along every step of the way.  So…take a look at that blog & newsletter.  See if it helps you understand your situation?  Does the firm demonstrate awareness, understanding and expertise in the way they break down the things you don’t know?

 

Are they an Expert & Are they Approachable?

 

Ok, this is a two-part criteria, but you’re aiming to find someone that is both of these at once.  An expert that is unapproachable is not going to help you understand your claim.  And an approachable novice is a novice nonetheless.

They say there’s no substitute for experience, and it takes time, commitment, and success to gain that experience.

As for approachability, take a look at the videos on the lawyer’s website.  Look at their social media pages, and check out the reviews.  You’ll get a “gut” sense pretty quickly about whether that lawyer is someone you can relate to, trust, and share your story with.

 

How Lilac City Law Stacks Up to this Criteria

Now that you’ve seen our list, take a deeper look at our firm.

 

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How to Choose a Social Security Lawyer

How to Pick a Social Security Lawyer

If you’re in the process of applying for Social Security Disability, or if you’ve already applied and are looking to get a bit more help for an appeal – then the following criteria can help you select the best Social Security lawyer for your case.  

Work With Someone That Makes You Comfortable

A Fear Factor Can Play a Big Role in Your Relationship with Your Attorney

The first and maybe most important factor in picking a Social Security Lawyer is overcoming the initial fear factor of reaching out for help.

Let’s be honest, most of the time the first person called is the attorney with the commercial on TV or that website that shows up on the top of Google.  However, as we’ve learned in our firm, a lot of clients gravitate towards representatives that can understand them.  For instance, if you’re seeking to claim PTSD and already apprehensive about reaching out for help, getting someone on the other end of the phone that has an imposing persona very easily could lead to trouble at many points during the claims process.

A Social Security claim or appeal can be complex, it’s very important that you have confidence in your lawyer, but also that you have the impression that you can communicate with them or their office without worrying about how they might view, judge, or aggravate your impairments.

Be careful to choose a lawyer that doesn’t intimidate you in any way.  You’re going through a tough enough process, keep the barriers to your relationship low and the trust factor high.

Trust w/ Your Social Security Lawyer

Your Lawyer-Client Relationship is Built on Trust

The things that generate trust vary widely from one person to the next.  However, there are some basic principals that everyone can rely upon when determining if a given Social Security Lawyer is trustworthy.

Ratings & Reviews

Avvo is a great tool for getting straight-forward ratings and reviews of attorneys.  They have a proprietary ratings system and review system that they claim can’t be gamed.  This is very important, and as you can imagine, review and rating stuffing is common and sadly something that erodes confidence in any rating system.  

In addition to Avvo, Google provides a great system for getting reviews of all sorts of lawyers, including disability lawyers.  If you do a search for disability lawyers near you, or for a specific disability lawyer, you will likely see their Google ratings & reviews pop-up next to their listing.  This is a bit more crowd-sourced than Avvo but is a very valuable tool for both selecting a great disability lawyer, and for reviewing them after you’ve worked with them.  Here is an example of ratings and reviews using Google.

Videos

The internet has been around for a while at this point.  As have digital cameras.  The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is just as true today as when it was coined.  In fact, it might even be truer today than ever.  Consider how a picture helps to establish rapport and trust.

You want a disability lawyer that shows you they know what they’re doing.   They are respectable and respected.  And they will be the best champion for your fight, right?  That’s why every attorney, doctor, consultant, author, etc. has a professional picture of themselves somewhere on their website.  But one of the biggest problems is that pictures can (and are) staged.  However, an authentic video is much harder to fake.

Check out the prospective disability attorney’s Facebook and YouTube channels.  First off, do they even have social media at all?  And on those channels, see if they have videos sharing insights, talking to clients, answering questions.  Sometimes these videos will also be on the lawyer’s website or blog as well.

Watching how the lawyer answers questions will give you a lot more than a picture – at least in helping you to build an idea of who they are and how they communicate.

Ask yourself, “is this someone that can communicate my challenges, is this someone I can communicate my challenges to?”

A short video will usually give you an enormous amount of insight into answering those questions.

Blogs

When seeking insight into a disability lawyer’s persona don’t forget to look at the extras on their website.  Blogs, especially, will tell you how committed they are to sharing information with you.

Is their website a bunch of short questions with hooks at the end of each one?  If so, how does that help you, as a potential client, to understand the processes involved in your claim?  Alternatively, do they have a wealth of information about all aspects of your claim, and questions you hadn’t even thought to ask yet in their blog or newsletter?  Six months from now when you’re wondering what your chances are of succeeding, this might be exactly what you need to keep your spirits high.

A blog may not be what you initially thought of when thinking, “how do I pick a Social Security lawyer,” but now that you’re in the search, take a look around and see who’s keeping their clients and future clients informed and who’s just fishing for the next client.

Capacity

You Should Feel Like You’re the Only Client

Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?  Think about this for a moment.. this is something that can help you to identify what type of disability lawyer or disability law firm to work with.

One might argue that a huge firm with many thousands of cases is big because they are good.  They certainly have the advertising budget to portray that success. However, the continued existence of many hundreds, or even thousands, of community disability lawyers fly in the face of that sentiment.  At the end of the day, you can deal with one bureaucracy (huge firm) to fight another one (SSA), or you can work with a personalized firm who remembers your name when you call.

It comes back to that question, big fish or small fish?  The small fish sometimes has a hard time being heard.

Responsiveness

Communication is Key!

In response to the big fish/small fish question, you do, at some, point want to consider how responsive your disability lawyer will be to your unique needs.  Hint, they have to recognize that you indeed do have unique needs in the first place.

Like a Dr. Office, it’s probably not reasonable that the attorney can stop immediately talking to one patient (client) to take a call from another.  That’s why staff and client liaisons exist.  However, it is reasonable and should be necessary, to have an attorney that is available to talk, within a reasonable amount of time.

Can you call the firm and get a response from the attorney in a reasonable amount of time?  Can you schedule a time to actually come into the firm and talk to the lawyer that’s representing you?  Not everyone can…

Being able to communicate, even briefly, is something you’re going to want to do as a disability hearing approaches.

Helpfulness

The Strength of Our Network is the Strength of Our Work

During the course of your claim (or appeal), there will be curveballs thrown your way.  Whether those curveballs originate from within the claim itself or they happen to come from directions yet unseen, you want someone on your side that “knows someone.”

One of the best things about working with an experienced and established disability lawyer is that you’re also working with their network.  A good lawyer doesn’t gain experience by being an island unto themselves.  They often work with partners in similar fiends to increase the effectiveness of their own services.

To you, the client or future client, this means – that when that curveball arrives you can ask for referrals, assistance, resource information, and things like this.  Or rather, you should be able to.  Unfortunately, this also relies on the idea that your disability lawyer is local, which as we know from previous discussions, is just not always the case.

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Highlighting our Ultimate Disability Guide

Lilac City Law is a different kind of law firm.  We are focused on great service and support for you if you are disabled.  And more recently we started focusing on making sure your family is taken care of.   Whether your needs are disability advice, family wealth planning, or something else, you need information.

This last point is why we are thrilled to be able to write this blog.  It is our way of highlighting important information about all our services.  We get to share with you what we know, and what we feel you should too.  One of the tools we created to help you in navigating disability services is The Ultimate Disability Guide.  What’s that?  The Ultimate Disability Guide is 10 insider tips, shared with you for free, to help you maximize your Social Security Disability or SSI Application.

Our Ultimate Disability Guide covers 10 very important topics that you might surprise you.  And yet it is designed to be quick to understand.  In five minutes, you can begin putting into place your plan for applying for SSI or SSDI.  And if you need help, you can know when is the best time to start looking for disability lawyer representation.

Whether you want to know about the biggest pitfalls to avoid or the best ways to keep your disability claim moving, The Ultimate Disability Guide is a great first step.

We’d like to highlight other great resources in the Lilac City Law blog.  Please send us any thoughts you have in the comments below.  In the meantime, here’s a great video about The Ultimate Disability Guide.


Preview the Ultimate Disability Guide

 


 

Lilac City Law advocates on behalf of the disabled in their claims for Social Security Disability and SSI

Take advantage of our FREE 30-minute consultation! 

 

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You should Hire a Disability Lawyer that Does Both VA & SSA Disability

If you’re looking for a disability lawyer for a Social Security appeal or a VA appeal, you should think about working with one that does both.

There are a lot of Social Security lawyers, but only a few that really understand and actively practice VA law. On that same note, there are a lot of advocates for Veterans benefits, but only a few with truly in depth Social Security expertise.

As we discussed in a previous article, you have a lot of options for working with advocate. We even discussed to some degree who you might want to work with. There are pros and cons depending on where you are in your disability application. Now we are going to discuss why, if you are a Veteran, you should work with a disability lawyer that practices both VA & Social Security disability law.

Your Disability Lawyer needs to Know how VA & SSA Disability are the Same & how they are Different

Both the Veterans Administration and Social Security Administration have disability benefits. In Social Security there are two programs Supplemental Security Income (SSI) & Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSI is designed to provide for the basic needs of the aged, blind, and disabled. While SSDI is basically an insurance advance for workers who become disabled before retirement age. These are similar to programs in the VA, the non service connected disability (VA pension), and service connected disability (compensation).

SSI & VA Pension

SSI is very similar to VA non service connected disability, also known as a VA pension. In fact, the basic qualification for a non-service connected disability pension is that a Veteran would otherwise be qualified to receive SSI.

The easiest way to determine whether or if you would be qualified to receive SSI is to apply for SSI.  (And/or talk to a Social Security Lawyer like Lilac City Law).  You can imagine, this is not always a black and white case though. As we’ve covered so many times, only about 1 in 3 of those that apply are awarded initially. At the VA, your odds aren’t really that different.

Applying for both is your workaround on this, but it comes at a risk…Overpayments.

There are overpayment risks if you are eventually awarded both SSI & VA pension. You need to have someone who is ready to jump in and advise you through both processes as you go through them.

As much of a risk as overpayment are, if you work with a good lawyer, you can minimize them. And you can do this while literally doubling your chances of success up front. Once you get one success, in VA or SSA, your lawyer will then use it as a fulcrum to start seeking the best possible mix of SSI / VA pension benefits. At least that’s what we would do.

SSDI & VA Service Connection

SSI & VA Pension are much closer to each other than SSDI and VA service connection. In fact, SSDI and VA service connection aren’t altogether similar at all. But they do have one very strong thing in common. Unlike SSI & VA pension, You can collect BOTH SSDI and service connected benefits at the same time.

This is a significant point. The average SSDI award is about $1,300 per month, and VA disability rates can be be more than $3,000 per month in some cases.

It’s not uncommon that the reason you are now disabled from working is from injuries you sustained while serving in the military. And in the reverse it’s not uncommon that injuries sustained while in the military have worsened over time. Essentially making you unable to work, despite your heroic attempts to compensate for your injuries or illnesses.

Brining it Together and Making it Simple

The real test of skill and commitment of a VA & SSA disability lawyer is being able tease out the connections between your experiences. Both your experiences in the military and wherever your journey has taken you since your service are material to the success of your claims. When knowing this background information, a skilled disability lawyer will be able to craft a plan that pursues both Social Security and VA benefits. Which will result in you increasing your chances of success and maximizing your benefits awards.

Lilac City Law advocates on behalf Veterans in appeals for Service Connected Disability Benefits and for Social Security Disability Benefits

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