If you do NOT want Representation, but you DO WANT an Attorney Consultation.
When you only need information or advice regarding Social Security, and you haven't been able to receive it...
There are many instances when a person doesn't need or want representation by an attorney at all. They are pro se on their claim and want to keep it that way. Other times they don't have a choice because they have the type of problem that the SSA system does not readily allow as a source of business services for attorneys to provide... But what to do when they have a question, need a little bit of help? Need another set of eyes on something? Can they retain an attorney to consult with, just briefly?
IMPORTANT NOTE: In fact, many questions can be answered, free of charge, by SSA staff at a local field office or the 1-800-772-1213 number. There is also this page:
When these avenues or other SSA contacts fail or fail to satisfy, however, retaining an attorney for a consultation without need for actual representation, may be the sought out choice.
Attorney Stephanie Joy, outside of her practice representing disabled folks before the SSA on pending claims (via that SSA-1696 form) also provides Attorney-level Consultations, via phone or Zoom, for those that are not able or seeking to secure such attorney-level information from the SSA.
Possible examples where one may prefer and best be served by a timely and affordable consultation include:
A person is unable to reach a SSA staff member that is able and willing to fully answer her question (for free), or otherwise provide legal advice pertinent to her situation. (This may be particularly evident during these difficult CoVid times.)
A professional, such as an accountant, tax preparer, divorce attorney, workers compensation attorney, or disability insurance law attorney, seeks a robust attorney discussion on an issue, not a brief well-intended response from a hard-working SSA staff member.
One may believe he has received conflicting legal or other information from the SSA and he wants to do his due diligence by asking an an experienced Social Security lawyer her opinion.
An unrepresented claimant wants a brief attorney explanation of a concept that they feel needs more detail than the SSA has provided them, as they continue to self-represent.
An unrepresented claimant wishes to intermittently hire an experienced attorney to hash out possible issues, review and explain forms, issues, rules, federal case law, on an ad hoc basis without being on the hook for the amount that actual and full representation would cost them, as they optimistically continue to pursue their claim pro-se.
Organizations, individuals or educational entities seek a retained detailed written narrative explaining a Social Security issue in addition to what it may have been able to find online, such as at the .gov site.