October 2007 GAO Sheds Light on Representatives
Although there can be experienced and non-experienced representatives in both realms of attorney and non-attorney representation the problems is that non-attorney representation has a weak baseline standard and is virtually unregulated. Attorneys as a group have undergone the greatest, training, education and testing standards of higher education available. The GAO in their 2007 Report found the SSA standard for a non-attorney representative as the following:
“[SSA] currently allows nonattorneys who have represented as few as five disability claims before SSA over a 2-year period to qualify for fee withholding. Most judges we interviewed and more than half of the eligible nonattorneys considered this insufficient. And, according to an association of representatives, fee withholding is attracting more inexperienced nonattorneys to the field of disability representation….”
As stated in prior blogs repeatedly, ask your representative the following questions:
1. Will you be at my hearing and have you been to over 1,000 SSA hearings?
2. Will you be writing a prehearing brief with a chronological history of my medical records for submission to the hearing Judge?
3. Will you meet with me well before the day of the hearing to review the documents in my file and go over my testimony?
4. Will you obtain and purchase medical records before my hearing?
5. Will you contact each of my doctors with a questionnaire about my restrictions?
If your representative can not say YES to these basic questions you should find one who can.
Call 813-657-9175 for more information. www.TampaSSA.com