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do ssdi attorneys drag there feet

john 40jjohn 40 Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:47 AM in Health Insurance Issues
in tell the back pay percent they charge gets to the max for the state there working in? it seems like a lot of people who receive ssdi that had to get a attorney that i have talked to got approved in the month or very soon after that would get the 25% to the max amount ---ya Elvis still lives in Vegas. and the cia shot jfk


  • Sorry, but your post is a bit cryptic. Are you feeling that your attorney is dragging *his* feet on your case? Financially it isn't in their best interest to do so. Sorry if that is what you feel is going on. Social Security isn't "high speed"...so that might be some of the delay? I hope you hear something soon. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have often wondered the same thing.
    Correct me if i'm wrong but, the lawyer fee's have to be approved by the SSA, and they max out at $6000.00,. So if you have to go thru the appeal process, and the longer it takes the lawyer can then justify a higher fee. Which they know how much the SSA will approve for whatever time frame it takes to get a person approved.

    Is this the correct way of looking at it, probably not.
    But is it reality, probably.
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  • the attorneys get 25% of your back pay award . the max amount is between 5300-6200 looks like it maters what state your in for that . so for example if your monthly benefit is 1000.$ and the attorneys file the appropriate papers,and suggest you see doctors (or talk to your doctors)to have your records clearly say what is wrong with you and have the right buzz words for ssdi. and files right away and you get approved within 12 months .that's 3000$ .
    if they can slow down on getting dr reports in order, get you to do the right med test , filing updated dr reports . until after you have been denied once or twice to drag it out to around 24 or 30 months of back pay that's easy 6000$ max pay out.
    maybe i am on to much pain meds and have to much time to think about it .
    and no i think my attorney is right on it i passed the max pay amount when i taught i wood still be able to go back to work last year.
  • I am sure there are some lawyers that do that, but in the logical and realistic sense, they would be exposing themselves to lawsuits, and possible disbarment if something like that was to come to light.

    So do I believe 'dragging feet' happens, sure. Is it the norm, I doubt it.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • The rate of attorney fees may differ from state to state. BUT they can only recieve 25% or that maximum amount ($5300 - 6200) WHICH EVER IS LESS. Period. They cannot justify a higher rate... ever. Now, you may have to pay them other expenses, like the cost of obtaining medical records.

    The attorneys don't really do anything until you are denied - then they file your paper work for the appeal.

    Then they wait.... Until your file is assigned to a group of judges. Then they may start updating your file. It does no good to request medical records from your treating sources and send them to the office of hearings and appeals and then have that information just sit there.... sometimes it may get misplaced because they have no idea where your file is (there are literally thousands that the OHA receives in a month). Not only that, but by law, these treating facilities that copy your records can only charge $20 for records (at least here in Louisiana) for a disability claim. And that's whether it is one page they've copied or 1,000. So, rather than updating every month or each time you are treated (for $20 a pop) they may only update every 6 months. Thereby keeping your out of pocket expenses low. Any reputable attorney will only charge what is necessary on disability claims. They can actually get in trouble for over charging.

    So, when your claim is assigned a group of judges, it is only a matter of time before it is assigned to a specific judge. Then the next step is the hearing.

    So, the attorneys kind of do drag their feet on a particular claim... but that's only because they are waiting for the right moment. While they are waiting for the right moment on that claim, they have at least 50 to 100 that they are busting butt on because they have hearing dates on them.

    Hope this helps clear up somethings at least!

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  • I am very aware that you are extremely knowledgeable with this, so i have a question?

    If by some chance you are approved the 1st time with no appeals, i assume the lawyer's will charge a very small fee at least for their time. Am i correct with this way of thinking? T/Y

    And ssa told me they will get all my files from doctor's. Is this also correct? T/Y
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Usuually you'll sign paperwork when you begin with the attorney as to their fee. An attorney who works only with SS claims and is a legitimate SS attorney can get 25% of the back pay or $6000, whichever is less (http://ssa.gov/pubs/10075.html#part3).

    Right now, even with just one year of back pay coming to me they'd have to accept the $6000 as 25% of my back pay would be $6050 as of today. I'll happily let them have it if they can help get me approved at initial level. My attorney firm in Boston (I'm in Arizona) has been SO responsive that they deserve every penny.

    I feel bad for attorneys that work for years to fight for approval, get the $6000 and have actually done much more work than $6000 worth. Or the attorneys who work hard and approval never occurs so they get $0 for years of work.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • It really is a crazy system when you lay it out. But I find the same thing with lawyers in general.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Also keep in mind many people don't file for SSDI until they've been out of work a year or more. So there is usually back-pay owed since the decision after application, then appeal, etc can be 6-12-24 months after you apply. This isn't the lawyers, it's the SS system that slows down the process. The attorneys don't ask SS to delay decisions or appeal reviews, it's just part of the current way the system works.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 

    It's true - even if you are approved right off the bat the attorney will receive the standard fee of 25% or $5300** which ever is less. (**that was the maximum when I retired from the disability office in 2000) Theoretically, it could be a very small fee based on the amount of back pay...

    That's why I've always suggested not obtaining legal assistance until AFTER THE CLAIM IS DENIED.

    Heck, you are doing all the leg work initially anyway. Although attorneys receive all the same forms and paperwork as the claimant, the claimant is the one who fills them out. Not the attorney or the representative...

    Yes - SSA will request all your medical records AT NO COST TO YOU. They pay $20** a pop whether it is one page, or 1,000.

    Jim again - I am sorry It's taken me so long to answer. Hope it helped.
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