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When it comes to a Social Security Disability claimant and a representative - attorney, who is the boss in that relationship?

Dallas, TX |

From what I have researched and learned from personal experience, there are many instances in which a claimant likes to be involved in their claim for disability. I am of the belief that it doesn't take a degree in law in order for a claimant to be able to assist their rep. A rep doesn't necessarily have all the answers, and I don't think it's wise for a rep to ignore the requests of the claimant (especially when it's been proven time and time again the rep doesn't always know best). So, if a claimant requests to have something submitted to the Appeals Council that was never submitted (because of faulty DDS employees), at what point does the claimant get the final say in what they want submitted? What happens if I get denied because the rep doesn't submit the one document that was needed?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. As the client, you are always the boss. If you don't trust your attorney's judgment and knowledge of the rules, that is a serious matter, and you should consider changing your representation. However, you should also be aware that your attorney is likely to have much better knowledge about the applicable rules and what is going to be persuasive in your appeal. I have had many, many discussions with clients over the years about arguments that my clients wanted to make. Sometimes they persuaded me, sometimes I persuaded them. Ask your attorney why he or she does not want to submit the item in question.

  2. Your attorney is your agent, but your attorney is also the legal expert. If you question your lawyer's actions, that is a conversation you need to have with him or her.

  3. The Client/Claimant is always the boss in an attorney-client relationship.
    The client has the final say on decisions made. The attorney is there to guide and offer advice on the proper way to handle the case.

    This is intended for information purposed ONLY and NOT legal advice or counsel in any way. THIS DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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