What to Do if You are Not Satisfied with your Current Disability Representation

by Editorial Board on February 24, 2011 · 0 comments

in Basics of SSD,Social Security Hearings,Legal Concepts in SSD

The key to any working relationship is communication.  If you are not satisfied with your disability attorney it is best to tell them your concerns before hiring someone else to represent you.  Your attorney might be able to fix the problem.  They might also be able to explain why they handled your case as they did.  If your attorney is not in contact with you it is worth the time to try to reach them to get an explanation.

Of course, some problems just can’t be fixed by talking them over.  It is your right to decide who will represent you in your disability claim.  If you are certain that you want to change attorneys you should notify your attorney in writing.   Send a copy of that letter to the branch of the Social Security Administration that is currently handling your claim.

When deciding whether to change disability lawyers keep the following guidelines in mind:

1)      Don’t Kill the Messenger. Most applicants receive some denials before they receive their award and Social Security makes plenty of mistakes.  If you are confused or upset about something you hear from Social Security ask your attorney to explain it.

2)      Attorneys Aren’t Miracle Workers.   Over 3 million people apply for Social Security disability and/or SSI benefits every year.  The Agency is struggling to keep up with these applications, so it can take anywhere from several months to several years to get your disability benefits.  Unless you can meet the criteria for designation as a “TERI/Dire Need” case, your attorney can’t shorten the waiting time.

3)      Give Your Attorney a Few Days to Call Back.  Representing Social Security claimants requires dealing with appeal deadlines, doing many disability hearings, and often some travelling out of town.  Your attorney won’t always be able to return your call on the same day.  If you fire your attorney for not returning your calls immediately you will probably have the same problem with your next attorney.

Post a comment below to share your thoughts on this subject or ask us a question, we encourage you to be part of the Living with a Disability community.

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