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 — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Do You Switch Your Disability Lawyer?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you are contemplating switching from your disability lawyer, you should remember that you signed a legally binding agreement that included expenses that you might be held accountable for whether you win benefits or lose your disability claim.
This is why you should always read over any fee agreement prior to signing. However, this does not mean that you cannot change your disability lawyer or disability representative. It simply means that you might have to pay the out of pocket incidental expenses and perhaps even for the hours spent working on your disability claim if that is what you agreed to do in your fee agreement.
If you determine that you are going to switch disability lawyers or representatives, you should send a letter to both Social Security and your current disability lawyer stating that you no longer wish for them to represent your disability claim. Also, you should request that your current disability lawyer send a letter of withdrawal from your claim to Social Security.
At this point, your new disability lawyer or representative can send SSA their disability representation papers as well as a new fee agreement. This will effectively allow you to switch your disability lawyer. However, it will not preclude your initial disability lawyer from petitioning Social Security for part of the fee in your disability case if they refuse to sign a withdrawal letter.
Additionally, none of this prevents your initial disability lawyer from pursuing the expenses and fees you agreed to pay by signing their fee agreement. For example, if your initial disability lawyer spent money on postage, phone calls, travel, medical records or any other expense in the development of your disability claim they are entitled to receive compensation for their expenses. And, you are also liable for any expenses that you agree to pay your new disability lawyer when you signed their fee agreement.
Generally, disability claimants are able to switch their disability lawyers with very little inconvenience. Most disability lawyers sign withdrawal letters for their disability applicants once any agreed upon expenses are satisfied. However, there are some disability lawyers and disability representation firms that refuse to sign any kind of withdrawal letters so that they can petition for part of your disability fee should your claim be approved for disability benefits.
If you have a disability lawyer or representation firm that refuses to withdraw from disability claims, it may be a little bit difficult for you to switch your disability lawyer. Many disability lawyers do not wish to be involved in contested fee petition cases.
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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