62 Questions to Ask a Disability Lawyer

If you or someone close to you has become disabled and can no longer work, you may have a lot of questions. A disability lawyer can help you process applications for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and help you appeal a denied application.

However, before hiring a disability lawyer, it’s important to research and ask the right questions. This blog post has listed all the essential questions you should ask when meeting with a potential disability lawyer to help you get started.

62 Questions you can ask a disability lawyer:

  1. What type of disabilities do you specialize in?
  2. Have you worked with clients with my type of disability before?
  3. How long have you been practicing law?
  4. Do you have experience with the Social Security Administration (SSA)?
  5. How much experience do you have with the Social Security Administration? 
  6. What is your success rate in winning disability cases?
  7. How many disability cases have you handled?
  8. Do you charge a contingency fee or hourly rate?
  9. How much will your legal services cost me?
  10. Do you offer a free consultation?
  11. What are your qualifications for handling my case?
  12. What are my chances of winning my case?
  13. How long will it take to get a decision on my case?
  14. How often will we need to meet?
  15. What is the appeals process if I am denied benefits?
  16. Can you help me appeal an SSA decision?
  17. Do I need to hire a separate attorney for my appeal?
  18. How long will the appeals process take?
  19. What are the chances of winning on appeal?
  20. Will you represent me at my hearing?
  21. Do I need to attend my hearing?
  22. What experience do you have with disability law? 
  23. What kind of cases do you typically take on? 
  24. How often do you go to court? 
  25. What is your success rate in court? 
  26. How many cases like mine have you handled in the past?
  27. What are the next steps in my case?
  28. How often will we need to meet?
  29. How will you keep me updated on the status of my case?
  30. Do you offer payment plans or sliding scale fees?
  31. What other expenses should I expect to incur during my case?
  32. Do you have any experience with appeals or hearings?
  33. What is the appeals process like?
  34. If my claim is denied, can you help me file an appeal?
  35. What should I do if I am contacted by an insurance adjuster or someone from the Social Security Administration?
  36. How can I improve my chances of being approved for benefits?
  37. Will you handle my case, or will someone else in your firm be working on it?
  38. What are your qualifications for practicing disability law?
  39. Are you a member of any professional organizations related to disability law?
  40. Can you provide me with references from past clients?
  41. When can I hear back from you after I contact your office?
  42. What is the best way to reach you if I have questions or need to update you on my case?
  43. What are your qualifications for handling my case?
  44. What are your thoughts on my case?
  45. Who will be working on my case?
  46. What are the risks associated with my case?
  47. What are my options if I don’t want to go to court?
  48. Can we settle out of court?
  49. What is mediation, and is it a good option for me?
  50. What happens if we can’t reach an agreement during mediation?
  51. Are there any other options besides going to court or mediation?
  52. Do I need to provide medical evidence to support my claim? 
  53. Can I continue working while my disability claim is pending? 
  54. What are some common reasons why disability claims are denied? 
  55. Can I receive benefits if I am only partially disabled? 
  56. How much will I receive in monthly benefits if my claim is approved? 
  57. Will I qualify for other types of benefits, such as Medicare or Medicaid, if my disability claim is approved? 
  58. Can I receive benefits for my children if I am approved for disability benefits? 
  59. Will I have to pay taxes on my disability benefits? 
  60. When can I expect my first monthly benefit payment after my claim is approved? 
  61. How often will I receive benefit payments? 
  62. What happens if I return to work after being approved for disability benefits?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest disability to prove?

Every case is unique, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a variety of factors in making its decision. However, some disabilities are more commonly approved than others.

Arthritis, for example, is one of the most commonly recognized disabilities. This is because arthritis is so common and can significantly affect a person’s ability to work. Other musculoskeletal disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, are also frequently approved.

What disabilities are hard to prove?

Disabilities that are difficult to prove can be physical or mental. Often, these types of disabilities are not easily detectable, and it can be challenging for individuals to prove their existence.

This is especially true for conditions such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other so-called “syndromes.” These disorders often cause significant pain and discomfort but may not be detectable in tests or scans.

Mental disorders can also be difficult to prove. Depression, for example, is often characterized by feelings of sadness or hopelessness, but these symptoms can vary from person to person. In addition, depression often co-occurs with other conditions, which can make diagnosis even more complicated.

Can you work while you appeal your social security disability decision?

If you are working but earning less than the SGA monthly earnings limit will not cause your initial disability claim or appeal to be denied. Likewise, it will not adversely affect an individual who is already receiving disability benefits from SSD or SSI. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that some individuals need to work to support themselves while they wait for their disability claim to be processed or appeal a decision on their application. 

What gets you denied for disability?

One of the most common reasons a claim is denied is the lack of medical evidence to support the claim. Often, the insurance company requires extensive documentation from your doctor in order to approve benefits. 

Another common reason for denial is that the individual has previously denied benefits. If a person is no longer able to work because of their condition, they may be eligible for disability benefits. However, if it can be shown that the person was able to work, their claim is likely to be denied. 

If the claimant’s income is too high, they may not be eligible for benefits. This is because Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is intended to provide assistance to those who are unable to work due to a disability. Those who earn a significantly high income are generally not considered in need of assistance.

What is the maximum a disability attorney can charge?

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) caps attorney fees in disability cases at 25% of the “back pay” or $6,000, whichever is less. This amount applies to all disability lawyers, whether or not they work on a contingency basis. 

In some cases, SSA may approve an agreement between the claimant and the attorney allowing a higher fee, but this is rare. 


If you are facing a disability, you do not have to go through it alone. Hiring an experienced disability lawyer can make all the difference in getting the benefits you need and deserve.

When meeting with potential attorneys, be sure to ask about their experience, how often they go to court, what the likely outcomes of your case will be, and how much it will cost you. With the right lawyer by your side, you can focus on what matters most – taking care of yourself and your family.

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