Houston, TX asked in Social Security for Texas

Q: Can I represent myself in a case against Social Security ?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Scott F Bocchio
Scott F Bocchio
Answered

A: Hi, yes you can represent yourself.

Kathleen Marie Flynn
Kathleen Marie Flynn
Answered
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Decatur, GA

A: At the initial and reconsideration, I would say yes to this question, as an Adjudicator at DAS in GA or DDS in other states is assigned to your social security disability case and is required to obtain your medical records. You could always call the Adjudicator to ask if the medical records are received. However, I just met with a client who did represent herself at these two levels, but the Adjudicator did not get medical records from her child's therapist who comes to the house weekly. In this case, a conscientious attorney would make sure all your documentation is submitted to the Adjudicator.

As far as representing yourself at a hearing, I would have recommended this when nationwide approval rates were 60 percent or higher with Administrative Law Judges (ALJ). However, we have some ALJs who grant 30 percent or less of all cases that come before them. Because we appeal to the Office of Appellate Operations (formerly the Appeals Council) and to US District Court, a well developed file and thorough presentation of all your mental and medical impairments, as well as limitations and activities of daily living are important for a good transcript should you have to appeal. Although the Office of Hearings and Operations are supposed to obtain all your medical records, this does not always happen due to the volume of cases they are handling.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call our disability attorneys and staff at 404-479-4431 or visit our website at www.kathleenflynnlaw.com

Kathleen Marie Flynn
Kathleen Marie Flynn
Answered
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Decatur, GA

A: At the initial and reconsideration levels, I would say yes to this question, as an Adjudicator at DAS in GA or DDS in other states is assigned to your social security disability case and is required to obtain your medical records. You could always call the Adjudicator to ask if the medical records were received. However, I just met with a client who did represent herself at these two levels, but the Adjudicator did not get therapy notes from her child's therapist who comes to the house weekly. In this case, a conscientious attorney should make sure that all your documentation is submitted to the Adjudicator.

As far as representing yourself at a hearing, I would have said yes to this when nationwide approval rates were 60 percent or higher with Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) years ago. However, we now have some ALJs who grant 30 percent or less of all cases that come before them. You can google an ALJ's approval rate. Because we appeal to the Office of Appellate Operations (formerly the Appeals Council) and to US District Court, a well developed file and thorough presentation of all your mental and medical impairments, as well as your limitations and activities of daily living are important for a good transcript if you have to appeal. Although the Office of Hearings and Operations are supposed to obtain all of your medical records, this does not always happen due to the volume of cases they are handling. I just reviewed a file of someone who represented herself at a hearing and was denied. Updated records from several medical sources were not obtained by the ALJ's staff in an out of state OHO.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call our disability attorneys and staff at 404-479-4431 or visit our website at www.kathleenflynnlaw.com

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