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Anyone know/can recommend an Social Security attorney ?


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#1 azwestdevil72

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:01 PM

I have a friend who is Native American, low income, has been considered legally blind since the age of 5, and has been on SSDI since 1990.  She has complied with all requests and provided all documentation showing proof of her disability, her income level, and part time hours worked (not to exceed 30, which she complied with) during that time.  Recently, she received a letter from Social Security informing her that they overpaid her by $144,000.00, and that she has to pay it back, because they say they overpaid her from 1995 to 2007.  Much of that time was supposed to be a state-run sheltered workshop for the disabled, and the rest was as a student worker for Phoenix College and for ASU.  What this means is that they will stop all SSDI payments from next month until May 2024! 

 

Social Security determined that even though the SSDI payments are her primary means of income, she only brings home some $700 from her part time job (due to restrictions of Social Security, she can only work so many hours and make a limited amount of money), and the fact all doctors she has gone to (including the Native American hospital, and doctors representing Social Security) have all confirmed repeatedly she is legally blind, that she somehow has the means of repayment of $144,000.00.  I know her well and she is honest.  She did not knowlingly do anything wrong, and I think this is a government mistake.  On top of this, the attorney she had helping her bailed today, and dropped her case because they have other cases that take priority (meaning will make more money for them, I guess), with only 11 days left to appeal the decision by Social Security.

 

Does anyone know, or can recommend, an attorney who specializes in Social Security issues like this, and can either work pro bono, or wait for payment until after the case is resolved?


Thank you for any recommendations.



#2 donald

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:54 PM

yikes! 

 

I don't know anyone... I know becky used to work for a lawfirm but that was over a year ago. Not sure what they specialized in, but I can ask her, or maybe she will see this post. 


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#3 azwestdevil72

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:06 AM

Thank you, Donald.   I appreciate that. This is unfortunately a situation I am not sure how to help my friend, either.  Seems a pretty unique situation, but if you do happen to come across info or anyone has a recommendation or input, it is greatly appreciated.  There is supposed to be a hearing to appeal the decision (date not set yet), but the letter from Social Sec explicitely says that if a lawyer represents the person, that they must either work pro bono or not be paid until after it is resolved.  I assume this is because either Social sec assumes if you can afford a lawyer (which my friend can't really afford, anyway), you don't need the benefits, or to make it so restrictive so that it is hard to appeal the decision, because most attorneys my friend has called, want money upfront. 



#4 Mary

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:41 AM

I PM'd you a list of recommendations. Hope it helps.


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#5 azwestdevil72

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:27 AM

Mary, I very much appreciate you going to the effort of providing me that info.  That was very kind of you! Thanks a lot. :)



#6 bunnyeyes

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:37 PM

Did you have any luck?  Have her contact the Arizona Bar Association and see if they can help her get an attorney Pro Bono.  While waiting to find an attorney she can easily file Notice of Appeal which should give her time to find an attoney before she has to file an opening brief.  Hope this helps.  If she plans on filing the Notice of Appeal herself let me know and I may be able to find a fill in the blank form which may make it easier.  Also if her attorney has not removed himself from the case he has an obligation to file I think.



#7 azwestdevil72

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:22 PM

Unfortunately, she has not had any luck yet, and had to turn in the appeal (filled it out herself), before the deadline.  The social security office said it may take up to a year before she is given a date for the hearing. 

 

I will suggest to her to contact the state bar.  Thank you.






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