Jan 5, 2016

User Fee To Stay At 6.3%

     The user fee charged attorneys and others who qualify for withholding of fees from the past due benefits of the claimants they represent will remain at 6.3% for 2016. Social Security swears that it costs more than this to compute and authorize a fee but attorneys have always been deeply skeptical that it really costs this much.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charles, I'm the author of the post you quoted on 12/4.

It's not your fault the systems/processes are terrible. But you have to factor in the cost.

Based on the amount of time and effort it takes us to process all the actions related to attorney fee payment, you guys are getting a bargain.

Anonymous said...

I like that SSA charges for what it has to do. Who else does SSA charge for services? Isnt that why they are getting paid at PC in the first place to pay people?

Anonymous said...

If the fee is that onerous, refuse direct payment and collect the fee from the claimant.

Anonymous said...

I hate that SSA is in the business of paying the attorney, but based on current regulations we have to. Let the attorneys get a lien on awards or make every retro check be made out to BOTH the attorneys and claimants, like they do in civil suits.

Anonymous said...

If the user fee is tied to COLA, why isn't the max attorney fee?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful question @ 4:22PM

Anonymous said...

SSA's involvement with attorney fees really only becomes problematic when multiple attorneys are involved, especially for SSI cases. The antiquated MSSICs system cannot handle mutltiple attorney fees via automation. Technological improvements would save employees in the field a ton of time.

Anonymous said...

Save yourself the user fee then and try to collect the attorney fee off of the claimant. And no boohooing when they don't pay you. There, you saved the fee.

Anonymous said...

The statement that processing fees is easy and surely less than what all those 6.3% fees add up to is a little myopic because I get the sense you are only thinking of those fees paid via a fee agreement that is proper and where there aren't rep issues. But do not neglect those other automatic fee payment scenarios that do not involve a single, easy and clean fee agreement.

I work in an ODAR office--trust that SSA uses SIGNIFICANT resources on all the other fee issues we have. Fee petitions, multiple rep issues, etc. are all VERY time consuming and involve multiple parties at the local office and regional office level, sometimes even Woodlawn.

I don't doubt for a second that SSA spends more working out fees than it collects via the 6.3% fee.

Johnny Cash said...

@3:11pm, I'm not sure what world you live in but my local ODAR can't seem to process a basic fee agreement without screwing things up. I guess that results in greater employee involvement but that's only as a result on underlying incompetence. Not a cost that should be passed on.

Anonymous said...

I cant read another poor ODAR post. Please. Get them off Facebook, have them work, 60% of the time they are there and there is no backlog.

You don't like the "work" at ODAR try getting a job in the real world that has the pay and benefits of ODAR/SSA and see what you are paid.

Pleeeaaaasssseeeee!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ 4:54 PM

I wasn't whining that the work was too much, just pointing out that all things "fee" are not as simple or easy as one rep with one clean fee agreement. And to 8:54, I agree wholeheartedly that there is a great amount of incompetence and (back to 4:54) poor work ethic within ODAR's walls. Doesn't change the fact that everything SSA does regarding fees and the payment of them is much more complicated (and thus deserving of that user fee) than Charles' post implies.

Dan Smith said...

@6:43
Does it really NEED to be that complicated? My understanding is that it's SSA that insists on declining to recognize firms as representatives and dividing fees between individual reps in the same association.