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 Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to attend a Social Security Hearing? Yes, we may ask you to attend a Hearing. At the ANGELLGroup, our goal is to obtain a fully favorable decision for you without the need for an in-person Hearing. However, if your case cannot be decided on the record, our attorneys will attend your Hearing with you. We recognize that a Hearing, even an Administrative one such as a Social Security Hearing, can be stressful. That is why we will work hard to have your case approved on-the-record, without an in-person Hearing. When that is not possible, we will work equally hard to prepare you and we will be there with you.

Iím already represented by an attorney, can I change representatives? Yes, Social Security allows you to change representatives at any time. We believe you should only change representatives if you have a good reason. Some examples: Your representative is not responsive to you; You have lost confidence in your representativeís ability to represent you; You disagree with your representativeís strategy for pursuing your case; You do not feel your representative represents your interests.

Do I need a representative? The short answer is No, but if you want the best chance of winning your case, you need to be represented. Social Security has long recognized that claimantís who are represented are more likely to be awarded benefits than those who are not represented. In fact, that disparity is so large, Social Security requires a claimant who appears at a Hearing without representation to make a knowing waiver, to sign or affirm that they understand their right to be represented and that they wish to waive that right. If you wish representation, Social Security will postpone your Hearing to allow you to obtain representation and Social Security will assist you in finding a representative.

What are the benefits of an early decision? When you are out-of-work and disabled, you are under a lot of stress and cannot afford, emotionally and financially, to wait for Social Security to decide your case. An early decision avoids the lengthy wait for a Hearing, as well as, the stress of a personal appearance before a Judge at a Hearing. An early decision protects your life style through monthly income and Cobra Health Insurance continuation and it allows you to take advantage of other programs such as medical assistance and vocational assistance, like Ticket to Work that can help you retrain and return to work.

Do I have to use the representative my LTD insurance company recommends? No, you can decide who represents you on your Social security claim. When you allow your long-term disability company or other third party to both choose and pay for your representative, you need to question whose interests they represent, yours or theirs. You should question whether; your interests are being protected, your medical records are being disclosed to your insurance company or other parties, and if an assessment of your disability is being shared with your Insurance company or other parties. Representative's chosen by and paid by Insurance companies or other parties may not represent your interests. At the Angell Group, we represent only you and respect your right to confidentiality. We will never compromise or disclose your personal information to any other party. And, if you use Angell Group our fee will be deducted from any overpayment created on your long-term disability claim caused by your receipt of Social Security benefits, so in essence they are still paying for our services.However, you are the one getting to choose your representative and you decide what information you want to share with the long-term disability company or other third parties.

 Other Resources

Disability Links
- ALS Association
- Alzheimer's Association
- American Autoimmune Related Diseases Assoc., Inc. (AARDA)
- American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA)
- American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
- American Diabetes Association (ADA)
- American Foundation for the Blind
- American Heart Association
- American Parkinsons Disease Association (APDA)
- American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA)
- American Stroke Association
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
- Arthritis Foundation
- CFIDS Association of America
- COPD International Support Network
- Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
- Lupus Foundation of America
- Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
- Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
- Neuromuscular Disease Center (Washington University)
- RSDHope / CRPS
- The National Fibromyalgia Research Association

Social Security Links
Glossary of Social Security Terms
- Program Operations Manual Acronyms
- Program Operations Manual from SSA
- Railroad Retirement Board
- Social Security Basic Facts
- Social Security Forms
- Social Security Handbook
- Social Security Schedule of Benefit Payments

  Medical Links
AMA (American Medical Association)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Disability Research Institute (Univ. of IL.)
- HIV/AIDS Information
- Medical Dictionary
- Medicare
- Merck Manual
- National Institutes of Health
- Net Dictionary of Medical Terms
- WebMD
- WebMD Prescription Drug Index

Legal Links
Cornell University Social Security Library
- Dictionary of Occupational Titles
- Final Social Security Rulings
- FindLaw for Legal Professionals
- Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) Manual
- Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
- Social Security Regulations - Employees' Benefits
- Social Security Rulings and Acquiescence Rulings

- Social Security Attorney Resources - Attorneys & Representatives
- Social Security Online - The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration
- United States Department of Labor - FAQs about COBRA Continuation Health Coverage
- NOSSCR - National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives
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