Phoenix, AZ asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Social Security for Arizona

Q: My SSDS appeal was remanded back to the local ALJ. I cannot get an atty, it seems, because the atty I had, withdrew.

He withdrew after I rec'd a denial decision from the ALJ hearing. I filed the appeal pro se. I rec'd the remand ltr. March, 2016. Why will no attorney take my case? The ALJ granted my attys motion to withdraw, and by doing so, has left me in a difficult, helpless, position. (reasons I've gotten turned down: they have too big a caseload to give mine the attention it needs, etc.). What are my options for preparing and facing another hearing unrepresented?

2 Lawyer Answers
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: Suggest you look for members of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Assn who take Social Security cases. Is it something about your phone demeanor or lack of willingness to do some legwork yourself? Maybe it's your case? Your prior attorney should give you your medical records. You can ask the state Disability Determination Unit to get records you don't have--go to your local SS office to start that process. Contact legal services.

Joel Friedman
Joel Friedman
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: There are many reasons why another lawyer would not accept the case even after the Appeals Council remand and I would be guessing to suggest any reason. You will just need to keep looking for an attorney and be prepared to provide the following as a start, with the entire case file preferable (you can get a copy on CD from the hearing office because that will be more current than what your lawyer had)

1. Prior attorney withdrawal letter

2. Appeals Council remand order

3. ALJ denial decision

4. Critical medical evidence

The problem previous response is also incorrect that you can request assistance from the state Disability Determination Unit to get records you don't have--go to your local SS office to start that process. Your case is at the hearing level and only the ALJ has jurisdiction to administer your case. There is also no Social Security section in the Arizona trial lawyers group (Arizona Association for Justice).

I am willing to review your case file but you will need to contact me at 602-492-5331

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