Hello. I had filled for Disability in 2008. Depression, diabetes, sleep apnea but mostly depression. Could no longer work. I was too out of it to do paperwork, so retained a Disability atty. I lost first decision. I changed to 2nd SS atty because existing atty could not even tell me I lost; 1st atty could only say I should go to SS Office every day, as they thought 60 days to appeal after losing was expiring (guess some inside contact told them). Day 58 rejection ltr was on SS computer, I appealed in person. I never received a reject ltr by mail from SS or atty firm. I had lost job because of inability to work, now lost house. I changed to 2nd SS atty who "specialized in Mental" issue as atty was also psycholigist. They proceded to do NOTHING. During that time I fell into final financial collaspe, and had to move to relatives to live in a trailer their property. I live on food stamps, get county medical. 2nd atty office said they would not represent me now at new SS district. Los Angeles/Fresno 370 miles. I released them being my atty. 1st outfit attn firm took case back. Had hearing appeal in front administrative judge, lost. 1st atty contracted local atty to represent me. He shows up after hearing started. Like I said, I lost. This SS atty then resigned from my case, saying did not think it could be won. I appealed myself to Appeal Council Virg. I requested copy of file to see what's in it. I did not receive it until ~ 2 yrs later when my case at Appeals Council was put on calender. I could not get atty to represent me without a file and 2 atty settlement money. My county's mental health dept, I was in ongoing counciling, assigned county mental health case worker. She became my SS advoate. In SS CD file we found 1st atty turned in very little of my medical records. 2nd atty turned in no medical records, notes, nothing but that they were my atty to SS. and fee agreement. Appeals Council Virginia vacated prior judges decision and remanded my case back to Fresno for hearing. My case worker has now been reassigned off my case. I was never diagnosed properly medically. My sleep apnea was improperly treated for many (10+) years. I was breathing through my mouth at night with a nasal only mask, so cpap could not work. Never knew. CPAP pressure was way too low also, now adjusted properly by auto adjust CPAP to a much higher value than one night in a sleep lab ever indicated. Now have cognitive impairment, nerve damge from poor cpap therapy. This was major cause of depression. All this found after my SS hearing before a judge but before the Appeals Council ruling. I have two attys claiming money. I just reread 1st atty fee agreement. It says in one section that if my case goes to the Appeals Council, that terminates fee agreement. I would understand that this means atty no longer has any claim on the outcome of my case. Do I understand correctly? Also then, is this in SS's rules for advoctes? Because if it is, it means my 2nd atty would also have no claim. This clause does not appear in the 2nd atty fee agreement. By tele 2nd atty advocate refuses release of financal claim. Another, my case worker who became my last advocate, sent FAX to 2nd atty requesting my file (we have copies proof of fax reception). Fax included letter of showing she was my SS advocate + release for my confidencial information. They never sent file to her or me, never responded. Fax sent again 1 month later, still no response. That is a violation of law, not providing file. The internet shows multiple instances other clients the same way by 2nd atty. What ways can I use to get them to release financial claim. They did NOTHING but administratively set up a case claim? Stan
Called a SS disability attorney office, they said go to the Socail Security office, the Judges staff will get them to release claim. I did. Asked at social security office, they said no, they can not do that. SS said to go fill a complaint with the Calif state bar, but hearing is in 4 months. I do not believe they can work that fast. I am alone on this now, gone to far to give up.
Good morning,I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.Under the law of contracts, and specific the case law as regards XXXXX XXXXX if contingency fee agreements with clients---when an attorney does work for a contingency fee client---meaning that they have agreed to work for the client and wait until the receipt of the award, settlement or judgment to be paid, and if they are released by the client before the case is finalized, they legally have a lien against the case for the value of their work. That lien may be the percentage of the value of the case agreed to in the fee agreement, or as is more common, they may recover their fees and costs in "quantum meruit"---meaning that when it is inappropriate for them to collect the full percentage---like in cases where more than one attorney has worked on the case---or where the case was not effectively settled before the attorney was dismissed, then the attorney will be paid for the fair value of their services (quantum meruit).I believe that your first fee agreement merely indicated that the fee agreement did not provide for legal services if the matter was not initially resolved and had to go to an Appeals Counsel----it did not mean that the attorney would simply walk away and be owed nothing if the case went there.Social security rules do not hold that once the attorney is let go that they are not entitled to a fee---on the contrary the social security administration will uphold a lien filed by an attorney who has provided assistance and has been let go by the client before the resolution of the case.Now, the attorney is only allowed to collect a fee for their work if the claim is actually approved and paid---but if it is, their lien must be honored by the SSA, and by the client under the law. You may be able to demand fee Arbitration and then argue over whether they actually did the work they claim---but short of that, the average contingency fee lien is paid base on a fair hourly rate for the attorney who was let go before the resolution of the case.If your second advocate is not getting the file because the first attorney is ignoring the request, then you will want to file a complaint against that attorney to the state bar association. Refusing to return a client file is considered unethical. If the file was not returned as you requested, then you may argue that they should not be paid on a lien to the extent that your new attorney could not benefit from the information in the old file held by the first attorney.I wish you the best in 2012.I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not entirely favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust that you can understand how it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.Thank you,Doug
Doug, I will respond in this window. Technically, there are issues here with this web site. My only resonable recorse is to send them to you, as the other methods either don't work, or the one that does give me a little window, like 1&1/2" by 1&1/2" which is a bit too small for what I want to say.
I invest 3 to 4 hours last night trying to get a problem stated to send you. I am writing in the hopes you can foward this to the appropriate people. the managers, who will most likely not send it down to the programmer of this web site to fix.
Yes, my pain / confusion level is high. But, I am a computer engineer. The bad experiece I had here is not you fault and I will not select a bad rating on you.
Some of these might seem trivial to you. But some are dead serious.
1. While being ill, I invested 1 hour or more in writting. Nothing said about a fee. Until my time investment was made.
2. In paying a fee, a message came up that it would deduct a $1 deposit, yes elsewhere it said 59. It did take 59. It should NEVER stated anothing about a $1 deposit. That was a lie.
3. I wrote my message, submitted it, then went back to edit it. When submitting the edit, it would not accept it. It was too long. So I cut it down. Still too long, so I cut it again. Still too long, so I cut it again. Sever times, I am getting unhappy. My editted message has several times been editted to smaller than my original submission. I cut words and abreviated words, raising my frustration level higher with each attempt.
4. I tried live chat, but it never worked. I tried email to chat. It does not work. There is NO 24/7 chat response, although it is stated you do.
5. Finaly I wonder if it is the "Subject line" that is too long. It is a one line window with a title to my question. so I shorten the message. Now a submission takes place. See NEXT
6.That was not my "subject line". I never filled it out. The board software itself extracted some amount of text from the begining of my text and made it the subject. Ok. Fine. Except the board software itself selected too much text, too long of subject" and then refuses to process it as "TOO LONG". I spent three hours there last night. With 24/7 promised help that does not exist at all. And I don't stop because I don't want to lose what I had entered already.
7. I see this web site is opening in other languages. Best get this Web Site working properly. It is not how you intend to treat a client, it is how he is treated that counts.
8. One may say I could have called to chat phone, That was the third way to get 24/7 help. But, the phone line help is business hours. So "help 24/7" is not true at all.
It would be best if they would fix these things. Your clients would be happier.
Good afternoon Stan,I completely empathize with your frustrations over the operation of the site. And, while I do not work for JustAnswer as an employee and have no control over their software development-----I will of course be happy to pass on your criticisms/suggestions. Regardless of the perceived impact to others, they are all valid concerns of yours and are worthy of consideration!I appreciate that you will not rate my service to your poorly based on the fault you find with the system itself. I would ask that you do please rate me though so I can be compensated for having assisted you with your question.Thanks in advance,Doug
Good evening,I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards XXXXX XXXXX Is there anything else that I can assist you with? If not, and if you haven’t already, would you please now rate my service to you highly? Thanks in advance!Doug
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