Once you hire an attorney to represent you on your Social Security disability case, you may find that Social Security does not want to release any more information to you. This is especially true at the Social Security ODAR (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) offices.
Don’t worry, there is nothing nefarious going. HOWEVER, there is stuff you should know:
It is just a general rule that once you are represented by counsel, all communication goes through your attorney. This prevents Social Security telling you one thing and your attorney being told another, or nothing at all.
However, in my experience representing claimants in Colorado, Social Security will often release information to claimants (people applying for Social Security benefits) if they ask. If you need to know the status of your case, or which Judge your case is assigned to, ODAR will give you this information.
However, there is a bigger issue here:
If you have a question, you AND your attorney should be working together to find the answer. You and your attorney are a team working together to get to a win on your case. You need to share information. If you know something which your attorney does not, that might weaken your chances of winning.
You should be meeting with your attorney (not just the legal assistant) on a regular basis to do the following:
- Review changes in your treatment and symptoms,
- Keep you informed about what is happening in your case, and
- Answer any questions you may have.
These meetings are a great time to contact the ODAR office and get any information you may need.