Lakeville, MN asked in Social Security for Minnesota

Q: I can't find a lawyer for my SSI appeal is there no hope?

I had a lawyer file my initial application but I see now it wasn't filed correctly. I had no knowledge before about the date last insured which is 2015 and I have not worked since 2011. I do have assets so it makes things even worse and now from a car accident, I'm crippled up even worse than before. Not sure what to do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: I'm not clear what part of your application you think was filed incorrectly. If your date last insured in in 2015 then you would have to prove that you became disabled before that date in order to be paid Title 2 disability benefits based on your work history. That can be really difficult but is not always impossible.

The SSI claim (supplemental security income) does not have any sort of date like Title 2 benefits. However, there are household income and asset limits. Those limits are not dependent on how the application is filed. They are set amounts. You mentioned assets. The asset limit is $2000 for a single person and $3000 for a married couple. There are certain assets that do not count against that limit, the biggest of which are your home that live in and one car.

You may be having difficulty finding a lawyer for several reasons. The first is that it sounds like you are attempting to change lawyers. While you always have the right to fire your attorney, it can be difficult to find a new one. Attorneys are often reluctant to take on what could be an impossible case or difficult client. The second reason is that many attorneys do not handle SSI only claims.

Another reason is that you may not be eligible for SSI benefits or Title 2 benefits and having an attorney will not change that situation.

When you speak with an attorney ask them if you are eligible for benefits. If you are financially eligible and they do not want to represent you, try asking why. You may or may not get a reason.

Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: Are you still represented in your Social Security claim by the lawyer who filed the initial application? If so, talk to the lawyer about what needs to be corrected. Even if you are not currently represented, you can amend your alleged onset date to the date you stopped working in 2011 which is before your date last insured in 2015 by writing Social Security a letter or calling them.

If you need to find another lawyer, Justia has a "Find a Lawyer" search that can help you. You will need to inform your current lawyer in writing that you no longe want him to represent you in the case before you hire another lawyer.

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