United States Minor Outlying Islands  |  Social Security Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 4/16/08, 2:08 pm

Social Security law changing lawyers

Can you change lawyers in a (SSI disability case) after a year and a half if you feel like the lawyer is not doing anything for you?

1 Answer

Answered on: 4/17/08, 9:51 am by Dennis Harmon

Re: Social Security law changing lawyers

You can change lawyers but advise against doing that.

Social Security takes a long time to get to a case. Alabama has better dockets than a lot of states but even here the average time is 14 months from filing an appeal asking for a judge to hear the case and the hearing. Average means many of the cases take longer than that. There is little your lawyer can do about that.

The lawyer can file a dire needs letter if you are suicidal, cannot pay for medical care, if you cannot pay for food or utilities or shelter. This may knock a month or two off the wait. If the doctor's reports are very clear, clear to judge looking for very narrow issues, your lawyer can request a pay on the record to avoid a hearing. The lawyer can tell you if you case justifies this.

One thing that might help more than changing lawyers - which will do nothing to speed things up and might slow them down - is to call a senator or your congressman and ask them to help. Social Security has special rules for congressional inquiries. Your Congresscritters have staff to do this so you and your family will remember them come election time.

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Dennis Harmon 2330 University Blvd, Fifth Floor AmSouth Bldg Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

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