These are all good questions, but many attorneys handle their cases and clients very differently. These are questions to be asked BEFORE you hire an attorney to make sure you get the kind of representation and response you want. it is not too laste to ask these questions of the current attorney.
If you need to talk to another attorney for a second opinion, you may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) www.nadr.org – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Sometimes this is a problem due to the local Social Security office not correctly processing documents sent by the attorney. SSA will not deal with the attorney until the correct codes are input to the computer. It can take multiple contacts with SSA for the attorney to get this corrected, depending on how backlogged (or inefficient) the local Social Security office is. Even once the computer inputs are done, sometimes SSA still sends notices/paperwork to the client and not the attorney. It is a good idea for the client to keep the attorney up-to-date on any letters or paperwork received from SSA.
This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This communication offers general information based on the limited facts set out in the question, and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. For specific legal advice, consult an attorney in your state who is knowledgeable in this area of law.
Every case is different, and every attorney handles their cases differently. Our firm takes an active role in each case and provides assistance to our clients from the initial application through the administrative hearing and appeals level. At the other extreme, some firms only accept and handle claims where a claimant has been denied twice and where they either need to request a hearing or have already requested a hearing. As far as informing clients of the status of their claims, some firms only inform their clients of major events such as hearing dates, whereas other firms like ours contact Social Security on at least a monthly basis to provide each client an update on the progress of their claim. Since your friend already has an attorney, I am prohibited by Bar guidelines from offering any case-specific legal advice on the facts of their case or their attorney's handling of their case, directly or indirectly, and would recommend that they contact their attorney to request a meeting or to ensure that they and their attorney maintain an open line of communication to ensure that they remain informed of the progress of their claim. I wish your friend all the best in their claim, and if I can answer any additional general non-case-specific questions, please let me know.
Timothy M. Klob
Klob Law Firm
Provision of information in response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship and the questioner is encouraged to seek and retain legal counsel in order to discuss their question(s) further and directly with legal counsel. Respondent is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Tennessee for non-Federal matters with a primary focus on personal injury and workers' compensation, and is also authorized by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants nationwide in Social Security Disability claims. The questioner is advised that some responses on this site are provided by attorneys who are not licensed in the respective jurisdiction of the questioner, and any advice from attorneys on this site concerning state-specific areas such as workers' compensation by attorneys who are not licensed in the applicable and appropriate jurisdiction should be viewed as for general educational purposes and should generally be given lesser weight than responses by attorneys licensed in the governing jurisdiction. Response to this question further assumes that the questioner is not currently represented by counsel, and if this is not the case, then it is recommended that any further questions or concerns be directed to their current legal counsel.