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The Right to Representation for Social Security

When working with the Social Security Administration, you are permitted to have any individual, such as a lawyer or a non-attorney advocate, represent you. 

Who Can Represent Me?

Generally, anyone can represent you as long as they have not been suspended or disqualified from representing others before the Social Security Administration.  You are allowed to have more than one representative, but you may not name a firm, corporation or organization as your representative.

How Do I Appoint A Representative?

If you choose a representative, you must inform the Social Security Administration in writing using an SSA form.  If you choose a:

  • Lawyer:  You will need to give the name of the attorney and sign your name on the Social Security form. 
  • Non-attorney:  That person must print their name, write that they accept the appointment, and sign the Social Security form.

Your representative cannot accept payment from you until they get approval from the Social Security Administration.

What Can A Representative Do?

A representative can act on your behalf in just about any Social Security matter.  For example:

  • Obtaining information from your Social Security file;
  • Obtaining medical records to support your claim;
  • Requesting a hearing or appeal;
  • Accompanying or representing you at any interview, conference or hearing you have with the Social Security Administration.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Federal law expressly states that either lawyers or non-attorneys can represent Social Security disability applicants.  In fact, you can file on your own.  However, an experienced lawyer or non-attorney representative can help guide you through the complex and confusing disability claims and appeals process, and may dramatically improve your chances of obtaining a benefits award.

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