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Old 12-11-2008, 08:24 PM   #1
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Vuitton70 HB User
Attorney or not?

I found out today that I have been assigned a judge but have not been given a hearing date.

What are the pro's and con's of an attorney? I understand their knowledge of the proceedings, etc. but how necessary are they? I can't seem to find a competent office that I would be willing to retain.

I live in the Los Angeles area and out of about 8 offices I contacted, one called me back. The woman who took my information misplaced it and I had to call them back 3 months later. Not a good sign!

My older sister (who I rarely see and did not know was on disability) had my nephew go in with her and she was approved.

Any tips are appreciated!

 
Old 12-12-2008, 12:08 AM   #2
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Re: Attorney or not?

Well, you certainly don't want an incompetent attorney - that could be worse than no attorney at all. In many states, attorneys who specialize in social security cases advertise with comments like "win 90% of cases they take". This is because they only take clients whose records appear to be in order and sufficient to win the case. Definitely hire an attorney who specializes in disability cases if you get one. Many of the specialists actually hire ex-social security employees, so they know what documents to look for, how to word the reports, what to emphasize, and know how to present your case before the judge in the best light.

If you feel confident on presenting your case, you can go it alone and take your chances. A number of people seem to have won their cases that way. My particular problem creates a severe stress reaction, so I would not have been able to handle it by myself. An attorney for me was essential. Each person is different. Good luck to you whatever your decision.

 
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: Attorney or not?

I agree with roses4lace. If you feel confident on presenting your case, you can go it alone and take your chances.

Statistically, I think your chances are better if you have an advocate or attorney - but that may be because they will have your case well orgnaized and presented. Or, they may know the judge, and exactly what he/she looks for, before approving a case.

For many reasons, I chose to use an attorney. I did a lot of searching before I picked the one I am using. No point getting one you do not think is competent.

Good luck, and be sure to let us know how it goes.

Gayle
(still waiting for a date with the ALJ)

 
Old 12-12-2008, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: Attorney or not?

Thanks for the suggestions, the cap on what they can take is 25%? What is the *average* cut to the attorneys?

 
Old 12-12-2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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Re: Attorney or not?

All the attorneys I looked at charged 25% of the back pay check. I don't think I have ever seen one that charged less than that, but there may be some that do. I believe the cap is $5,300 that an attorney can charge.

 
Old 12-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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RetiredDirector HB UserRetiredDirector HB User
Re: Attorney or not?

When I filed five years ago for SSD, I contacted an attorney a friend (who is an attorney himself) advised me to call, and they told me to file initially on my own and then if I was denied, to call them. They said there was nothing they could do for me on the initial filing, that I couldn't do myself.

I was approved on the initial filing and was told I could have a case review in five to seven years. February, 2009 will mark my five years.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:28 AM   #7
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Re: Attorney or not?

Thanks again, all this is valuable information. It's so hard to go through this pretty much alone. Neither my Husband nor my friends really understand what chronic pain is like.

Hi Director, I remember you from when I found these boards years ago. Your info has been of great help!

Trina

 
Old 12-13-2008, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Attorney or not?

Hi Trina...Yes, I've been around for several years, but just haven't posted too much lately. My wife retired in August (at 61), since I was home on disability and then she had a flareup of her Colitis. So, she's been sick for several months and we've had to postpone a trip to Hawaii I set up as a retirement present for her, three times now. The latest postponement, was just last week and we're now scheduled for the first part of March.

Anyway, I've been taking care of her, so my computer time has been limited lately. I hope you get everything figured out and are able to breeze through it as I was able to do five years ago. Good luck.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:34 AM   #9
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Re: Attorney or not?

I didn't have a lawyer - not because I didn't want one, but because no one wanted to rep me. They said my case was a "b" or "class 2" (something like that). It was for SDI and SIS and if they represented me, they could only get 25% of the Social Security Disability and none of the Social Security Supplemental Income. One lawyer did say they would take me if I paid an upfront fee for retrieving my records, etc. I didn't even think twice as I had NO money. How was I going to give them any?
I was denied twice and then had a hearing which the Judge postponed after asking if I knew I had the right to have a lawyer rep me. I never got the new court date. Instead I got my "fully approved" letter a couple of months later. The whole thing took about 7yrs and I just got my SDI back pay and waiting on the SIS back pay. I am so glad no lawyer will get a cut of either. But not sure if it's the best way to go.
Either way you decide to go, I wish you much luck.
S

Last edited by skdjsf; 12-19-2008 at 01:35 AM. Reason: ignorance :)

 
Old 12-20-2008, 12:15 PM   #10
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Re: Attorney or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skdjsf View Post
I didn't have a lawyer - not because I didn't want one, but because no one wanted to rep me. They said my case was a "b" or "class 2" (something like that). It was for SDI and SIS and if they represented me, they could only get 25% of the Social Security Disability and none of the Social Security Supplemental Income. One lawyer did say they would take me if I paid an upfront fee for retrieving my records, etc. I didn't even think twice as I had NO money. How was I going to give them any?
I was denied twice and then had a hearing which the Judge postponed after asking if I knew I had the right to have a lawyer rep me. I never got the new court date. Instead I got my "fully approved" letter a couple of months later. The whole thing took about 7yrs and I just got my SDI back pay and waiting on the SIS back pay. I am so glad no lawyer will get a cut of either. But not sure if it's the best way to go.
Either way you decide to go, I wish you much luck.
S
Thx for sharing your story - I found one atty who seems capable, I meet w/ him in Jan. We'll see how it goes & if I feel comfortable w/ his representation.

Trina

 
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