How hard is it to find a lawyer or representative for a Florida SSDI or SSI claim?
Believe it or not, though there are plenty of disability attorneys and non attorney representatives (non attorneys also provide representation which is a very good thing since many non attorneys are former SSA claims reps and disability examiners) out there, it is sometimes difficult to find a representative who will take your case.
Over the last few years, I've probably spoken to several hundred individuals who informed me that several reps had declined taking their case (in fact, some claimants end up contacting legal aid after a number of attorneys or non attorneys have declined to offer representation). Why does this happen? Well, for several reasons.
1. Some disability reps will shy away from taking children's cases.
2. Some disability reps will avoid SSI claims (although with SSI withholding now, there should be less of this), preferring to take only title II (Social Security Disability) claims, or even claims that are concurrent (meaning there is a Social Security Disability and an SSI claim).
3. Some disability reps will deliberately screen their potential new clients to achieve a caseload that is skewed toward individuals who are fifty and over.
Why do some reps avoid taking such claims? To achieve caseloads for which the probability of winning averages 90 percent or higher. However, to quote one practitioner I've known for several years, "Where's the challenge if you're only taking slamdunks?". He also had this to say, "You're not helping people if you automatically screen out certain types of cases."
Despite this, a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claimant in Florida will usually be able to find representation, though in some instances, it may just require making a fair number of phone calls.
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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