How Do You Fire Your Disability Lawyer If You Want A New One?
If you have appointed a disability lawyer, you can fire them at any point during the disability process. However, this does not prevent your disability lawyer from petitioning for a portion of the representation fee, even if your new disability lawyer wins your disability case. And you may still be liable for any out of pocket expenses your first disability lawyer incurred while developing your disability claim. Remember, you signed a binding fee agreement with your disability lawyer and firing your old lawyer does not relieve you from paying any expenses you agreed to pay in your fee agreement with them.
If you choose to fire your disability lawyer and hire a new one, notify your current disability lawyer that you no longer want them to represent your disability claim. You should also complete a statement in writing that you no longer wish your disability lawyer to represent you.
Your disability lawyer needs to send Social Security a letter of withdrawal in order for them to remove your disability lawyer. If Social Security does not receive a letter of withdrawal, they may leave the information for both lawyers on your disability claim. This can make the fee payment process difficult for your new disability lawyer. In fact, many disability lawyers will not take a disability claim without a letter of withdrawal from the prior disability lawyer.
Generally, disability lawyers are willing to withdraw from a disability claim if they have not done much development on your case, however if they have incurred costs they may choose to petition for a portion of the fee when your disability case is won. This is why it is so important to interview a couple of disability lawyers before choosing a lawyer and signing a fee agreement. Still, there are times that you just cannot work with an individual...
If you decide that you wish to hire a new disability representative, make sure that you try to obtain a withdrawal letter from your current lawyer and send a letter or statement to Social Security stating that you no longer want the initial disability lawyer to represent your disability claim.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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