I have thought carefully about making this post, and I want to tread very carefully on this subject. It is well-known that the biggest complaints that clients have about their social security disability attorney is the failure to return phone calls promptly. And all attorneys, when confronted with this fact, will nod their heads sheepishly, and say, yes we should do better. And generally we should. But just saying we should do better ignores the factors that lead to unreturned phone calls, and how both the attorney and client has a part in this problem.

Most claimants assume that their social security disability attorney makes a lot of money; after all, they can make up to $6000 on a case, sometimes with very little work. But the reality is that most social security disability attorneys are not among the wealthy, and a social security disability practice is not where young lawyers who want to be rich go to practice law. With the delays in case processing and the fact that lost cases mean no attorney fee, most attorneys have to have 80 to 100 cases at any one time to keep a reasonable business going. And for most of those cases, there is a LOT of waiting time. That is, we as attorneys have done all we can do, and are just waiting for the government to take action. So if those 80 to 100 clients called even every month to ask “have you heard anything?” a lawyer is left with little time to actually handle and win cases.

Moreover, calling social security over and over again will do nothing to change the delay, and wastes valuable resources and time for the government. Having said this, I understand how frustrating it is for disabled clients who are in real financial crisis, and feel that no one is taking action. But don’t assume that just because you haven’t talked with your social security disability lawyer for a while that they are not doing everything that they can do to help you. Come to a reasonable understanding and expectation as to how often you and your attorney will talk.