What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Do You Fire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
You can fire your disability lawyer at any time if you feel your claim is not receiving the attention it deserves, and in some cases this is absolutely the best option.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when you choose to fire your disability attorney:
1. If you fire your disability lawyer, you could still be liable for expenses the lawyer has incurred up to that point. When you retain an attorney to represent you in a disability claim, you have to sign a legally binding fee agreement. This fee agreement specifies any out-of-pocket expenses that you agree to pay (such as making copies, obtaining medical records, travel, etc.) Read all fee agreements carefully before you sign.
2. Your old disability lawyer could petition Social Security for a portion of any back pay you are awarded, even if it is actually your new lawyer that represented you at the disability hearing. This is especially true if your former lawyer did a lot of work on your case before you fired him. If you are not happy with your legal representation, get a new lawyer as soon as possible.
3. You should both call and send a letter to the attorney to inform him that you no longer wish him to represent you. Your disability lawyer should then send a letter of withdrawal to Social Security so they remove his information from your claim. If you do not inform your attorney and Social Security that you have switched legal representatives, it could create a nightmarish situation for you present attorney if your case is won and it is time to collect his fee. Some attorneys refuse to represent a claimant if the letter of withdrawal is not already on file with Social Security.
Most disability attorneys will not give their clients problems if they are informed of their desire to change legal representatives early on, before they have invested much time or money in the case. This is why itís really important for people to shop around a bit before going with a particular attorney, and to call regularly for status updates. It is far less complicated for all involved if you start and finish your claim with the same attorney, but if that is not possible you should terminate the relationship with the attorney you first hired as soon as possible.
However, in some cases, particularly those in which the claim is not being represented with due diligence, firing the current disability lawyer becomes a necessity. Under these circumstances you should be sure to follow through by obtaining a withdrawal letter from your former representative, and calling the Social Security office to ensure that the withdrawal letter, along with a written statement from yourself saying you no longer want your initial lawyer to represent you, is received by Social Security in a timely manner.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials