Social Security Disability Resource Center
Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions
Switching Social Security Disability Attorneys in California
If you're curious as to how I came up with the idea to write this post, this is how: I found an individual's complaint about her disability attorney in a forum. What follows is a paraphrased version of what she had to say.
I have had my attorney since August and he has really done almost nothing for me. My claim is at the reconsideration stage so it has been there a long time. Basically, my disability lawyer has done nothing but file the reconsideration. I have done all the rest.
This is actually a fairly common sentiment. Is it valid? In some cases, the complaint that a claimant may have about his or her disability representative may be entirely valid. However, in this instance I have to wonder and for these reasons:
1. The bulk of a disability attorney or non-attorney's work will occur in preparation for a disability hearing.
2. Prior to the hearing level, there really isn't that much for a rep to do other than file a request for reconsideration, other than to check the status of a case.
It may be that this particular claimant had the notion that, by virtue of being represented, her case would either move faster in the system, or that certain steps in the disability process could be eliminated. However, that is never the case.
Representation can certainly improve the chances of winning disability benefits in California at a hearing, and by a substantial margin versus non-represented claimants. But at the lower levels (application and reconsideration), cases proceed according to a "rhythmn" that reps have no control over.
Does this mean that you shouldn't consider representation prior to the hearing level? Not at all. For many claimants, having representation can make the process easier (not having to file the first appeal and not having to do status checks). And for many, turning a case over to a representative can be emotionally freeing. Also, there is the fact that claimants with psychological or psychiatric issues may really need someone to turn their cases over to (particularly if they have memory or comprehension problems).
Back to the title of this post, however. Can you switch disability attorneys whenever you choose? Yes, you may. And social security will recognize your newly designated representative as soon as a new appointment of representative form has been recieved (form SSA-1696). However, bear in mind that if your "former representative" has done a significant amount of work on your case at the time you discharge him or her, they may petition for a portion of the eventual fee which, if you think about it, may only be fair.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs
Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
The SSDRC Disability Blog
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Getting disability in North Carolina
Filing for disability in California
How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California
How long should you wait before you apply for disability?
SSD and SSI applications in California
What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?
Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?
Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?
How long does a disability case take in California
After you file for disability in California
Filing for disability in California and your condition
Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process
The California disability process
Do I need to be disabled a year in California to get disability?
The Social Security Disability process in California
California Disability determination process
Disability approval criteria in California
California Social Security Disability decisions
Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California
Questions about disability in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
California Social Security Back Pay
Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?
Disability two year medicare waiting period in California
California review of Social Security Disability claim
California Social Security Disability status
VA disability and California Social Security Disability
Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case
How do examiners make disability decisions in California?
Applying for disability benefits in California
How long does disability take in California?
How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?
Why do disability claims take so long in California?
How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?
Disability claims in California with certain conditions
Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California
Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California
Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California
Winning California disability
Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?
Getting approved for disability in California
Winning disability in California
California Disability Lawyers and Representation
Getting a disability attorney in California
Finding a new disability attorney in California
Applying for SSI in California
Filing for SSI disability in California
SSI disability denied in California
Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?
How to apply for SSI Disability in California
Doctors, medical records, and medical exams
Doctors and applying for disability in California
Can you be turned down for disability in California if your doctor says you are disabled?
Disability hearings in California
Disability Hearings in California
California quick disability hearing
How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing in California?
How long does it take to get a disability hearing in California?
Disability denials in California
Disability Denied in California
If a disability claim is denied in California
Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California
If you get denied Social Security Disability in California
Why are Most Disability Cases Denied in California?
Getting approved or denied for disability in California
Disability appeals in California
How do you file a disability appeal in California?
How many disability appeals do you get in California?
If your California disability appeal is denied, can you get another appeal?
If your disability reconsideration is denied in California
Filing a reconsideration appeal in California
Why was I denied disability in California?
Qualifying for disability in California
Qualifying for disability in California
Qualify for SSD in California
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?
Disability lawyers in California
Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California
Cost of a California disability attorney
Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?
Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California
Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California
How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
Lawyer for a disability hearing in California
Why was I denied disability in California?