When you hire a firm, you hire everyone in the firm. Usually, the case is assigned to one attorney. Occasionally, we will have to reassign the case, but normally the case stays with that attorney. So, it is usually just one attorney on your case. However, we often confer with each other to get different opinions on a variety of issues.
Will I Receive Regular Status Updates Throughout My Case?
We provide regular status checks and respond to reasonable requests for information.
How Does The Fee Arrangement Work With Social Security Disability Cases?
The Social Security Administration authorizes the representative’s fee. A representative cannot collect a fee from a claimant without social security authorizing it. We use a contingency fee agreement, which, by statute, is capped at $6,000 or 25% of past due benefits. For example, if we go to a hearing, we prevail, and the claimant wins $20,000 in retroactive payments, 25% of that would be $8,000. Since that is over $6,000, we cannot collect that $8,000. We can only collect up to $6,000. If their back pay benefits are $10,000, 25% of that is $2,500. $6,000 is higher, so we cannot take that; we have to take the lower amount of the two.
We can go over $6,000 (but not more than 25%) under certain circumstances. For example, when we appeal a case and then win it at the new hearing, we can go over $6,000, but not more than 25%. We also have to submit a fee petition, itemizing all of the work we have done to justify the 25% fee that is over $6,000, and that has to be approved by the Social Security Administration. When we receive a fee and the Social Security Administration authorizes the payment, they send the payment to us directly, so there is no exchange of money between the claimant and the attorney.
Critical Information To Know When Involved In A SSD Case In Texas
The way you present yourself at your hearing is very important. If you smoke, do not smoke on the day of the hearing or be around anyone who smokes. There should be no smell of tobacco or alcohol on you. Wear dark, solid colors, with minimal accessories. Arrive at the hearing at least 30 minutes early and do not talk about your case while you are entering or exiting the building or waiting in the lobby. You never know who is listening. Do not bring any sharp objects to the hearing location, even nail clippers. If you have a service dog, please let us know in advance so we can alert SSA. If you are soft-spoken, practice raising your voice to be sure you will be picked up on an audio recording. Be sure to describe your symptoms clearly in words, without relying on gestures. The hearing is audio taped, but not videotaped so any gestures or pointing will not be captured on the transcript.
For more information on Legal Staff Working On My SSD Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (214) 373-3761 today.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.