Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

do I need a new attorney?

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wolfter:
I finally applied for SSD September 2005.  I thought it was going to be easy to make a determination.  I rec'd my 2nd denial notice in March 2009 while I was in the hospital being treated for an AIDS defining illness (cryptococcal meningitis).  I went ahead and hired an attorney.  I am concerned because he rarely communicates with me and we have a hearing on December 10th.  Should I still be having to gather all my records and submit them.  I could show a list of emails between us, I ask specifics and only receive 10 word answers.  I have to have a few procedures done before that time and I'm concerned about his following through.  Who's to blame if we go to the final hearing and my file isn't updated?  I guess I expected when I retained an attorney, that he would be responsible for this.

thanks in advance!
greg

JR Gabbard:
It is your attorney's ethical duty to make sure your case file is complete before you go to the hearing.

I'm assuming that the 2 denials you received were from the initial application and the reconsideration, and that you haven't been to an ALJ yet on this claim.  Your attorney probably already has all of your medical records that were submitted for those 2 determinations.  If there is any new medical evidence that was developed afterward, he needs copies of that, and of any new statements  from your doctor that might affect the determination.  If he thinks he needs that, he would probably arrange for it.

Having said that, it is still a very good idea to gather your own records (I advise everyone to keep a personal  copy of all medical records--just ask the nurses once a quarter).  Also, if you have any new procedures done make sure you get a copy before the hearing just in case your lawyer hasn't received it yet.

Failure to adequately communicate is the biggest complaint clients have against lawyers.  It is frustrating when you are going through something this big, this stressful, and the person who is helping you through it doesn't appear to be paying much attention to it.  I don't know much about your case specifically, but it might be that he thinks you have a strong case, he's got the records, and now there's nothing to do but go to the hearing, present the evidence and make the arguments.  Or he might just be a jerk.

If you want me to look at the e-mails between you, PM them to me.   I might be able to tell you which he is.

wolfter:
Thank you.  I did send the communication between us.  I just hope I don't appear too brash.  I'm definitely not a shy person and sometimes even my emails are a little too loud.

Thanks again!
greg

mewithu:
Call, Quick Aid  I don't remember their number but i am sure you can find it on the computer

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