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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
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Experience:  29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Do SSI lawyers ever try to win a larger settlement by prolonging

Resolved Question:

Do SSI lawyers ever try to win a larger settlement by prolonging clients' cases?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 2 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :


No they really want to try and be as efficient as possible.They only get paid when they win for you and this has a cap.

RayAnswers :

For SSDI and SSI cases, the main costs are our fee — this is set by law at 25 percent of the past-due benefits, or $6,000, whichever amount is less. We only get paid if we are successful in getting your application approved.

RayAnswers :

So the most the lawyer gets is $6k so they try to win and the sooner they do so the sooner you and them get paid.

RayAnswers :

SSI benefits in your state are fixed here they cannot be more I.E. the settlement cannot go up here.You may get benefits back to when you applied but the monthly amount here is fixed.

RayAnswers :

The amount of your SSI benefit depends, in part, on where you live. The basic SSI payment is the same nationwide. However, many states add a state supplement to the basic SSI payment. Effective January 2009 through 2010, the basic SSI payment for an eligible individual was $674 per month and $1,011 per month for an eligible couple. No supplement for Washington state here.so its the date you applied here up til the present x $674 or $1,011 if a couple..Lawyer cannot get you any more and fee is fixed here by federal law at $6k cap.

RayAnswers :

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Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information and no attorney client relationship has been formed. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Customer:

I appreciate your detailed reply! I am confused by your use of the word "here" (meaning WA?) and the lack of punctuation in these sentences: "SSI benefits in your state are fixed here they cannot be more I.E. the settlement cannot go up here.You may get benefits back to when you applied but the monthly amount here is fixed" and "No supplement for Washington state here.so its the date you applied here up til the present x $674 or $1,011 if a couple..Lawyer cannot get you any more and fee is fixed here by federal law at $6k cap."

RayAnswers :

Here--yes Washington state.In an SSI case the maximum monthly amount you can receive is fixed by social security.Some states other than Washington have a state supplement so the amount can go up.Not here in Washington state.It's set here at eligible individual was $674 per month and $1,011 per month for an eligible couple.If you prevail at hearing you would be awarded back benefits so from date you applied until time you prevail you get this monthly amount for the number of months.But the lawyer cannot seek a larger settlement here--the feds will not pay more here as it is a fixed monthly benefit--everybody gets same monthly amount that gets SSI.

RayAnswers :

And I am sorry if there was confusion.The lawyer here--his fee is also capped at $6k so he would want to try and win for you and get you the fixed amount as soon as he can so he and you can get paid.

RayAnswers :

SSI cases are just different than say a personal injury case where a lawyer can seek more money and he gets a percentage of it say a third.Here if he can prove your disability you get a fixed monthly amount and all your back benefits.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for letting me help you.You will get an email of our chat when you click accept.This will give you the information for your records.

Customer:

If it takes 2 years for someone to win SSI, the lawyer would only get $4,044. You'd think s/he would want to make the case last long enough to get the full $6,000. But I understand that it's important to get paid sooner rather than later. :)

Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience: 29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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