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Author Topic: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November  (Read 2709 times)

newdawn

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Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« on: June 29, 2022, 09:42:56 am »
https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-13996/maximum-dollar-limit-in-the-fee-agreement-process

https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-13996.pdf

Goes into effect November 30, 2022.

It's about time IMO. Last time it was raised was apparently in 2009.

Not sure if it applies to claimants who have already signed contracts with their attorneys unless maybe there's a special clause in their contract.

The final rule is being published tomorrow so maybe then there will be more info.

As always, I believe the fee cap does NOT apply once you get beyond your first ALJ hearing and are appealing to the AC, remanded hearings, federal court appeals, etc.
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

heyjoe

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2022, 10:17:13 am »
lawyers getting a 20% raise while we got 6%. the elites take care of each other. for what most lawyers actually do in social security disability cases, they are already overpaid.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 10:19:13 am by heyjoe »

Just Me

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 02:45:31 pm »
Their education and training is Not cheap. They invest huge amounts of money and time into their education and training. It may look easy but what it took for them to get to where they are is worlds apart from easy. Look at it this way, without attorneys how many claimants would be approved for disability ?
Nerve damage in upper and lower extremities. Degenerative Disc Disease, RA.

Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

Pete416

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2022, 07:15:01 pm »
Their education and training is Not cheap. They invest huge amounts of money and time into their education and training.
I gotta agree with Just Me here. I'm thankful I'm already done with the Lawyer and such but nonetheless what these people do I imagine is not entirely easy.

videonitekatt

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2022, 09:21:30 pm »

...It's about time IMO. Last time it was raised was apparently in 2009....


Then it's fair, really. The cost of education for lawyers and paralegals has gone up A LOT since then...But anyone know prior to 2009 when the last change was?


newdawn

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2022, 11:24:50 pm »

...It's about time IMO. Last time it was raised was apparently in 2009....


Then it's fair, really. The cost of education for lawyers and paralegals has gone up A LOT since then...But anyone know prior to 2009 when the last change was?

1990 I think?

"SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Act provides a streamlined process for a
representative to obtain approval of the fee the representative wishes to charge for
representing a claimant before us. To use that process, the representative(s) and the
claimant must agree, in writing, to a fee that does not exceed the lesser of 25 percent of
past due benefits or a prescribed dollar amount. Section 5106 of the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1990, Pub. L. 101-508, set the initial fee amount at $4,000

and gave the Commissioner the authority to increase it periodically, provided that the
cumulative rate of increase did not at any time exceed the rate of increase in the primary
insurance amount (PIA) since January 1, 1991. The law further provided that notice of
any increased amount shall be published in the Federal Register. On February 4, 2009,
we published a notice raising the maximum fee to $6,000, effective June 22, 2009, which
is the current maximum dollar amount for fee agreements.


With this notice, we announce that the maximum dollar amount for fee
agreements will increase to $7,200, effective November 30, 2022. This increase does not
exceed the rate of increase provided in the OBRA of 1990. We expect that this increase
will compensate representatives for their services while ensuring claimants are protected
from excessive fees."

https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-13996.pdf [bolding mine]
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

Helper

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2022, 11:33:06 pm »
lawyers getting a 20% raise while we got 6%. the elites take care of each other. for what most lawyers actually do in social security disability cases, they are already overpaid.

If you add up all the SSA increases between 2009 and 2022, it is 28.2% COLA increase (which does not take into account the compounding effect of the increases).  So, the 20% increase is less than the COLA during the same period.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 11:37:57 pm by Helper »
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heyjoe

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2022, 11:00:04 am »
lawyers getting a 20% raise while we got 6%. the elites take care of each other. for what most lawyers actually do in social security disability cases, they are already overpaid.

If you add up all the SSA increases between 2009 and 2022, it is 28.2% COLA increase (which does not take into account the compounding effect of the increases).  So, the 20% increase is less than the COLA during the same period.

does the cola reflect in the award that a new applicant gets if they are successful in their application for ssdi? i am under the assumption that the original award is based strictly on your earnings and no previous colas have an effect on that original award. if so then the colas of 28.2 % received would have no bearing on the lawyers getting a 20%  increase to represent them.

Just Me

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2022, 12:34:47 pm »
It is also important to remember the money attorneys are paid also goes to pay their business expenses. Employees salaries, benefits, rent, utilities,taxes, office equipment and up keep,etc. Attorneys do not keep all of the money they make on cases. Attorneys have paralegals, secretaries, cleaning people,etc. Unless the practice is solo and there is no paralegal. Attorneys do not do the day to day paperwork, email,phone calls,etc. Others that the attorney or practice employees does that work. Attorneys have God given talents just like doctors. Attorneys are educated and trained in how to make the best use of those talents. They also have to keep up with on going changes in law and policy.   
Nerve damage in upper and lower extremities. Degenerative Disc Disease, RA.

Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

Facts

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2022, 02:55:20 pm »
Legal representation is a very high cost basis profession and volume is the only business model that works for SSD representation as it is. $7200 is not a lot.

DisabledInWI

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2022, 02:59:20 pm »
lawyers getting a 20% raise while we got 6%. the elites take care of each other. for what most lawyers actually do in social security disability cases, they are already overpaid.

If you add up all the SSA increases between 2009 and 2022, it is 28.2% COLA increase (which does not take into account the compounding effect of the increases).  So, the 20% increase is less than the COLA during the same period.

does the cola reflect in the award that a new applicant gets if they are successful in their application for ssdi? i am under the assumption that the original award is based strictly on your earnings and no previous colas have an effect on that original award. if so then the colas of 28.2 % received would have no bearing on the lawyers getting a 20%  increase to represent them.

Not to over simplify, but wouldn't it depend on a person's pay increases, by percentage, during that time compared to the corresponding annual COLAs?
Location: Wisconsin
Age at Application: 48 (Currently 59)
Disability: Patellofemoral osteoarthritis both knees; Osteoarthritis left hip
Applied: 04/2012
Approved: 07/2012
Award Letter Received: 08/2012
First Payment Received: 09/2012

Helper

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Re: Fee cap being raised from $6,000 to $7,200 in November
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2022, 08:38:19 pm »
lawyers getting a 20% raise while we got 6%. the elites take care of each other. for what most lawyers actually do in social security disability cases, they are already overpaid.

If you add up all the SSA increases between 2009 and 2022, it is 28.2% COLA increase (which does not take into account the compounding effect of the increases).  So, the 20% increase is less than the COLA during the same period.

does the cola reflect in the award that a new applicant gets if they are successful in their application for ssdi? i am under the assumption that the original award is based strictly on your earnings and no previous colas have an effect on that original award. if so then the colas of 28.2 % received would have no bearing on the lawyers getting a 20%  increase to represent them.

Not to over simplify, but wouldn't it depend on a person's pay increases, by percentage, during that time compared to the corresponding annual COLAs?

As far as COLAs- it depends on how far back the backpay goes.  If someone is approved with an onset date earlier than this year, then they will receive a different amount of backpay (on a monthly basis) for 2021 and earlier than 2022 months. 

And the assumption is that the person's salary would have had COLA increases when they were still working too
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