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View Diary: How 'This American Life' got the disability story wrong (146 comments)

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  •  do you still (0+ / 0-)

    have to pay a fee to the attorney?

    I had not heard it before but the TAL article suggested there are some lawyers who get an ongoing percentage.

    Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

    by stitchmd on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:11:51 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  As far as I know, it is usually... (0+ / 0-)

      ...a one time payment and about 1/3 of the back pay due to the applicant.

      •  I believe SS must approve the fee. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chaddiwicker

        When I went through the system I was denied and eventually had to hire an attorney. According to the Social Security "Blue Book" my case should have been immediately approved, but none the less it was repeatedly denied. After about a year and a half an ALJ approved my claim without me or my lawyer making an appearance. Based solely on my file, the law and the documentation of my conditions he lambasted the adjudicators in his opinion and gave me several years retro-active. My attorney got the maximum fee Social Security allowed at the time which was $7500. Social Security must approve the attorney's fees, there is a cap and you can contest the fee. Or at least that's the way it was 5 years ago. It was an easy $7500 for the lawyer since I did all the paperwork and they came in only after I was denied. They didn't even have to go to court. I see no reason why the system makes it almost a necessity in almost every case that an applicant retain an attorney to fight for their benefits.

        I am now fighting the VA for service connected disability and the claim is over 4 years old (an Agent Orange claim which should be a slam dunk approval according to VA regulations, policy and current law). I may end up having to retain a lawyer to fight the VA if I'm denied or the disability rating is too low. I am totally unable to work in any capacity.

        The bottom line is, getting SSDI, VA service connected disability or SSI is a very long and costly and wearisome process. All during your wait time you are being sent to incompetent doctors unfamiliar with your health conditions and you cannot work since if you do any work for pay you cannot be considered disabled. Someone should do a report on how many people die while awaiting approval for benefits.

    •  he took the $6000 as payment in full (0+ / 0-)

      for his 15 minutes of work as he had not read the file before we walked into court and had to read the file on the fly

      •  aw, gee (0+ / 0-)

        nice work if you can get it.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

        by stitchmd on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:32:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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