Social Security has issued new instructions on fees for attorneys and others representing Social Security claimants. The instructions have to do with fee agreement cases where the claimant appoints two or more people to represent him or her and then one or more of the attorneys or representatives withdraws. It would be an understatement to say the instructions are confusing. Take a look at these examples given in the instructions and see if you can tell me what the underlying theory is:
Would you want to be the person implementing this "policy"?Example 2: The claimant appointed two representatives from Firm A, one representative from Firm B, and one representative who is a sole practitioner. The representative from Firm B waived his or her fee from any source. The sole practitioner waived charging and collecting a fee from the claimant or any auxiliary beneficiaries because a third party entity will be paying his or her fee. The two representatives from Firm A have an approved fee agreement that each of them signed, and SSA determines a fee of $6000. The representatives from Firm A will receive $3000 each.
Example 3: The claimant appointed two representatives from Firm A and one representative from Firm B. One of the representatives from Firm A signed a fee agreement. The second representative from Firm A and the representative from Firm B both waived charging and collecting a fee from any source. At the time of a favorable decision, the decision maker approved the fee agreement; subsequently, SSA determines a fee of $6000. The Firm A representative who had an approved fee agreement will receive $3000, but the “waived share” of $3000 for the second representative from Firm A should go to the claimant.