Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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How Do You Fire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?
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.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria