May 5, 2013

Payments Down Sharply In April

Social Security has issued updated numbers on payments of fees to attorneys and some others for representing Social Security claimants. These fees are withheld and paid by Social Security but come out of the back benefits of the claimants involved. The attorneys and others who have their fees withheld pay a user fee for this privilege. Since these fees are usually paid at the same time that the claimant is paid, these numbers show how quickly or slowly Social Security is able to get claimants paid after a favorable determination on their claims.
Month/Year Volume Amount


Anonymous said...

You say "down sharply", I say "back to the normal range". At least, based on the data you've posted in this post.

IIRC, most MI at Social Security is accumulated/reported on a weekly basis. So month-to-month changes in work volumes often have a lot to do with how many Fridays fall in a given month.

Sure enough, there were 5 Fridays in March, and only 4 in January, February and April. So, we should have expected a 20% drop from March to April even if nothing at all actually changed.

It looks like there is a drop beyond that, but only to the level of January.

Anonymous said...

And remember, every one of those dollars came from the back pay of a claimant like the fellow above. No one begrudges a lawyer his fees when he actually does some work, but those that collect up to $6000 for doing no more than filing the initisal claim or a reconsideration request should be ashamed of themselves. Their scare stories on the internet and their websites make people think they need to hire someone to even file a claim. Don't believe me - just search non Social Security disability and see how many ads pop up. Look at some of them - they scare me and I work here!

Anonymous said...

On the Surface the Friday count sounds possible. It is however totally and completely incorrect. Also nowhere near average.

Paymets for 2012
Fee Payments
Month Amount
Jan-12 $89,749,312.99
Feb-12 $134,207,416.10
Mar-12 $139,571,577.57
Apr-12 $113,225,483.07
May-12 $112,446,283.39
June-12 $128,559,225.66
July-12 $97,458,955.82
Aug-12 $119,484,061.59
Sept-12 $115,676,630.23
Oct-12 $84,612,068.75
Nov-12 $110,226,459.65
Dec-12 $104,926,570.07

Anonymous said...

With the hiring freeze and current budget outlook, it will get worse. The agency can no longer do more with less, we will have to do less with less.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:39 AM...

I have no doubt that reps sometimes make more in fees on certain cases than they could otherwise justify, but I also know the flipside is true--that sometimes attorneys work on cases they end up losing money on (usually cases that end up as SSI-only). It's happened to us on several occasions.

My real reason for responding to your comments, however, are because after several years of helping claimants get their benefits, I truly feel they are better off being represented by an expert in the field. Too many times I have seen mistakes made at field offices, DDS offices, and/or ODARs and most claimants would not know or be capable of fixing these errors. I'm sure you, too, have anecdotal evidence of attorneys who did shoddy or no work on cases, but that is not every rep.