The simple answer is yes. If you are unhappy with the legal representation you are receiving you can always withdraw from an attorney. However, doing so may have some ramifications on your claim.
First, it could delay a decision being made on your claim. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to process your withdrawal paperwork which is not always a speedy process.
Second, if you withdraw from your prior attorney you may have difficulty securing a new representative. This is because most attorneys when submitting their withdrawal paperwork to SSA will not waive any potential fees received from the case. And can you blame them? This protects those representatives who have worked hard throughout your claim process making significant efforts to properly develop the case. If you decide to withdraw from that representative at the last minute, for whatever reason, that representative will then have the ability to collect a fee based on the work is already done…if you win your case, of course. A problem arises when you withdraw from your representative because you don’t feel they are properly representing you. When you try to seek a new representative, that individual would then have to split a potential fee with your former representative. The fee SSA allows representatives are already capped at $6,000. So if you have a prior attorney who is not waiving fees, you would need to find a new representative who is willing to take half of whatever the fee would be. Oftentimes, it is difficult to convince a new attorney to accept your case at a reduced rate.
Third, your representative has been with you throughout the process. They have talked with SSA and your doctors about your claim. They have spent extensive time with you getting descriptions about why you can’t work. They know everything about your case. If you withdraw from one attorney and hire another, the new attorney will need to start from square one. Meaning, they are at a significant disadvantage since they have been asked to jump into the case in the middle of the process. It is akin to changing your family physician whom you’ve treated over the past 20 years.
If you are thinking about or in the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits don’t hesitate to call the LaBovick Law Group today for your free consultation