Los Angeles, CA asked in Social Security for California

Q: CAN A MENTALLY ILL PERSON REPRESENT THEMSELF IN A SSI DISABILITY CASE

IF A DEFENDANT HAS A SSI DISABILITY CASE FOR BEING MENTALLY ILL AND BLIND - CAN HE REPRESENT HIMSELF IN COURT WITHOUT A COMPETENCY HEARING

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
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Answered
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: If you have applied for SSI and have an upcoming hearing with a Social Security ALJ for that claim you are not a defendant. Typically in Social Security hearings you are not required to have an attorney. That being said I would strongly encourage you not to represent yourself. There are a lot of legal issues in a claim based on mental illness and blindness that you will not have knowledge of.

If you are a defendant in a criminal or civil lawsuit then in most cases you can choose to represent yourself. But if the judge has concerns about your legal competency then there may an exam and the judge may require you to have standby counsel to look out for your legal rights.

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