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+  Social Security Disability Facts Forum
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| |-+  Attorney and Representative Board
| | |-+  Re: How well do you feel your Attorney did?
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Topic: Re: How well do you feel your Attorney did?  (Read 1441 times)
jAnTRYM344
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« on: April 02, 2017, 04:37:16 PM »

New to the board and thought I'd share my experience.

I started with disability insurance which insisted that I file for SSDI. They of course offered their company, Allsep, but we heard advice not to use them. We posted on various websites and had lots of attorneys call us. Based on advice on different boards, we decided to meet with a local attorney first. He's actually on a paralegal, within a law firm, but his dad (deceased) was an ALJ. My husband had all my medical records as a PDF that we sent to him and it was clear he had read it. He did our application in a few days since he didn't need any doctor notes since my husband provided them all. But he wouldn't return our calls. We got some paper work from SSA and filled it out. Called him a few times, but no replies. Then I was approved, first pass. For that reason, no backpay. Which technically means he gets nothing. However, he said that because he could tell we were well off, he still was billing us, to the amount of $500.

We were kind of taken off guard, but came up with an idea. My disability insurance substracts SSDI from what they pay me, but don't count attorney fees in that. So I sent the paralegal the money, with a nice letter thanking him, and ended the letter my saying this concludes his service to us. I also sent similar to SSA saying he was no longer representing us. Meanwhile, my disability insurance basically compensated me by not deducting. It was only later I realized I had auxiliary benefits due to my daughter. So then we filed that on our own with SSA and didn't have to pay any of that to the attorney.

I am glad he got us approved first pass, since that is rare. I think $500 was a bit excessive, considering he didn't return phone calls. But my disability insurer basically covered that cost.
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 05:41:17 PM »

Did you report to SSA that your rep billed you $500 for winning your case?  While fees for medical records/copying etc are allowed, reps are not allowed to just bill because there is no backpay.  He could lose his ability to represent claimants to SSA.
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Age at Application: 26 age of onset (but I did not apply until 28)
Date Applied: August 2011
First Approval/Denial Date: November 2011
Additional Info: I was fortunate to be approved on my initial application due to extensive medical records (12+ doctors) & documentation of unsuccessful work attempts even with significant accommodations
jAnTRYM344
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 08:30:54 PM »

Did you report to SSA that your rep billed you $500 for winning your case?  While fees for medical records/copying etc are allowed, reps are not allowed to just bill because there is no backpay.  He could lose his ability to represent claimants to SSA.
The rep's letter did say the explanation was for requesting medical records and postage. In my letter to SSA removing him as our representative, I wrote that we paid him $500 for 2 hours of work, noted he did not request any medical records, and that he had about $10 in certified mailing fees. We wrote in that letter to SSA that he asked for that amount since he didn'r get any backpay. We added that we paid it to him because we appreciated his support and the rapid approval, but that reiterated the fact that his service to us was concluded, and he was no longer represented by us.
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