SSI and Disability Advocacy
For more information on Community Advocates' disabilities services, please view the brochure here.
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Q: What kinds of disability services do you provide?
A: We provide representation in Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) appeals. We provide information, advocacy, and referral on other disability-related matters such as benefits reductions and cessations, continuing disability reviews, and recoupments.
Q: How should I reach you?
You can reach us through walk-in hours or over the telephone. Walk-in hours are Monday, 11am to 1pm and Tuesday 9am to 12pm. Just tell the front-desk person that you are there for the Disability Services Walk-In Hours. Community Advocates is located at 728 N. James Lovell Street on the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and James Lovell Street (7th St.), which is accessible by many bus lines. Additionally, individuals can call 414-270-2966 to make an appointment for Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Q: How do you decide whether or not a representative will take my case?
A: When determining whether or not to accept a case, we will consider the severity of the disability, in addition to staff availability and caseload.
Q: What does it mean if you decline to take my case?
A: We may decline to take a case for many reasons. If we cannot represent you, it does not mean that you don’t have a strong claim.
If we are unable to provide representation, we will give you a list of other law firms and organizations which may be able to assist you.
Q: What will I have to pay for representation?
A: Community Advocates charges the statutory fee for disability claims representation. A representative's fees are limited, by law, to 25% of any retroactive benefit payment, not to exceed $6,000.00.
No fee may be collected if the claim is denied.
Fees are deducted from the claimant’s retroactive benefit award and are paid directly to Community Advocates by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA determines the amount of the fee to be paid, and the claimant has the right to appeal that determination if desired.
Q: What can I expect of my representative?
A: Your representative will provide comprehensive, diligent, and zealous representation at every stage of the appeals process (although we do not generally represent claimants in Federal Court).
Your representative will gather the evidence Social Security needs to decide your case, file all paperwork and forms necessary to process your claim, argue your claim in front of the Administrative Law Judge should your case go to hearing, and ensure that your case is processed as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, it can often take up to two years to have a hearing scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge.
In certain circumstances, your representative may be able to write a brief to the Social Security Administration requesting a decision be made without a hearing, which can significantly reduce the waiting time for a decision.
Whether this can be done depends upon the nature of your disability, your age, work experience, and other factors.
Moreover, your representative will ensure that while you are awaiting disability benefits, you are connected with appropriate supportive services as needed. These services include information, referral, or advocacy related to housing, utilities, and/or health insurance; free or low-cost health care providers for the uninsured; economic support; and/or other legal matters.
Finally, you can expect that your representative will always treat you with dignity, fairness, and respect, and that he or she will communicate with you in a clear and timely manner.
Q: What will my representative expect of me?
A: Your representative will expect you to communicate with him or her on a regular basis. We request that you notify your representative immediately if your contact information changes, if you are working, or if you no longer wish to pursue your disability claim.
Additionally, we request that you keep your representative informed of any changes in your condition, diagnoses, medications, or providers.
Q: How do I request representation?
A: Please contact the Disabilities Services Department for more information at 414-270-2966. No employee of Community Advocates will be acting as your appointed representative until a signed Appointment of Representative form (SSA-1696) has been submitted to the Social Security Administration.
Any information provided by you (or any person or entity acting on your behalf) to Community Advocates for purposes of assessing your disability claim will remain confidential and will be returned to you upon your request.
Q: Do you represent children?
Q: Do you help file initial applications?
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