How to pick a disability lawyer?
February 10, 2024 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Disability diagnosis came in, and it was even more than I expected. I would like to try to apply for disability, and it sounds like having a lawyer from the get go is a very good idea. If I don't have any recommendations, how do I pick? Anything special I need to be looking for?
posted by Jacen to Law & Government (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: In Texas, can choose from pretty much anywhere in the state. Yay not being tied to a specific city
posted by Jacen at 1:25 PM on February 10

Best answer: Sorry, Jacen. Getting a lawyer for your Social Security disability application is an excellent decision. Disability lawyers are paid on contingency, and their fees are capped by law (25% of your back pay, up to $7,200—whichever is lower) (in most circumstances -- additional info). Ideally, your attorney will have had similar clients, and experience (successfully) filing for your particular diagnosis, or a track record for (successful) filings in the "impairment" "category" in which social security places your disability. Texas's Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency (part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services) has just one office, in Austin.

Resources for recommendations can include: Texas-based patient support groups and advocacy groups, or FB groups for local patients (SSI/SSDI filing is a topic of discussion); your local Legal Aid organization (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with some disability info, managed by another nonprofit, the Texas Legal Services Center); the state bar's find a lawyer directory; social workers at your healthcare facility; possibly, the doctor(s) who provided the diagnosis... checking Avvo and winnowing 691 "Social Security & Disability" lawyers in Texas by 10+ years experience, 4 stars and up rating (across 162+ reviews, though), and offering free consultations returned 26 names; Justia's directory allows winnowing for attorneys offering teleconferencing (Texas is a huge state). (Check out any lawyer under consideration.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:00 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]

Argh, missed this recent overview of Social Security Disability in Texas slide presentation.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:07 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]

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