Apr 24, 2012

Price Competition

     The Angell Law Group is offering representation on Social Security disability claims for a fee capped at $3,000. The cap set by the Social Security Administration is $6,000. They claim a 98% success rate, suggesting that their strategy is intensive cherry-picking. If you only take the most gold-plated cases, you have to do little work to earn your fee.
      Update: One sharp-eyed reader noticed that the fine print shows that the Angell Law Group is not offering representation at hearings.Further update: The sharp-eyed reader now acknowledges that the really fine print says that Angell will send someone to the hearing.


Anonymous said...

I'd have more faith in them if they knew what a Bench Decision actually was.

Anonymous said...

I'd be leery to hire someone that uses such poor spelling and grammar.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to do much to earn your fee now. SSA will acquire the medical records for you. Most of the disability paperwork sent to the claimants is simply enough that they can complete it themselves. Appealing just requires you to say you disagree. More and more cases are being screened by senior attorneys, meaning you might get an OTR before you have done much of anything at all. If a hearing takes place, it will be an hour or less and depending on the judge, you might not have to ask many questions. You can review and take notes on the medical evidence in an hour or two. There is no type of law that is less demanding or has standards that are more lax than Social Security disability (unless you take cases to the federal courts).

If you billed at $150 an hour (a reasonable rate) and you averaged $3000 for successful cases, you would have to put in twenty hours of work to "earn" your fee. I doubt most representatives can legitimately claim to put in half those hours.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 12:14...well put. While I would note that it does take considerable effort (i.e. advertising) to actually get claimants, once a rep signs up a claimant, I would guess that the average hours spent on a particular case are less than 5 (including travel to the hearing and actually attending the hearing).

I routinely see reps in our office who have never met the claimant (they introduce themselves in the lobby of the hearing room) and have clearly only a cursory knowledge of the medical evidence of record.

I have often wondered why some reps don't offer price competition. The simple answer is that their clients are (for the most part) not savvy enough to shop around for representation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:57,

Doing a good job on hearing cases requires more. No skilled rep would rely on SSA to get the records.

With conscientious preparation, doing a hearing, and post-hearing follow up, a range of 10-18 hrs. is more the norm at the hearing level. Some may cut corners and do less, but in any large group you will have some underachievers.

Even a good rep will still lose some meritorious cases and not get paid. More than a few legit cases will be denied and the rep will have to go to AC, putting in more hours. Plus, the rep always has to wait to get paid. All things considered, IMO a rep can earn a living but not get rich on this type of practice.

Anonymous said...

Their site does indeed reference representation at hearings: "For those that are not decided fully-favorably on the record, your ANGELLGroup attorney will attend the Hearing with you. In these instances, since your claim has been fully worked for an on-the-record decision, the file is ready for a Hearing and we will advocate for the earliest possible Hearing date. The end result, favorable decisions in more than 98 percent of cases and decisions that are received."

Anonymous said...

Students, how many legal ethics issues can you identify in this fact pattern. Pencils up.