With regard to your post:
"Would like to consult and will once we figure your costs for representation. -------- Formal representation before the SSA involves a fee (or no fee) as decided by the SSA itself. Generally, it approves a fee of 25% of back benefits, if there are any and ONLY upon a win. If there are no back benefits, it will allow a "fee petition" where all work is itemized, it reviews the file, and it (SSA) determines what fee it will approve. In my practice, we only file same IF we prevail for the client - otherwise, no fee for work performed. The only financial obligation of the client is her OWN out of pocket expenses - we do not foot those. These include some minimal UPS or certified mailings to the SSA (for tracking purposes, as the SSA and/or USPS loses plenty of mail) and when we must order for her, her medical records - i.e. when SSA will not do so when requested. If her doctor's charge her for her records, that is her responsibility.
"Also can you represent where we're at. We are in spokane, wa. -------- I represent everywhere, yes, because this is federal, not state law. If there is a hearing, the client has the option of having us travel to their location (we keep the hearing AT the client's location), at the client's expense, OR, more often, because that is expensive, I appear at the hearing via video from my location, while the client appears in person with the judge, and sees my on the screen. I leave that choice up to the client.
"Also, has thought about the possibility of needing a payee as she seems to be more and more compulsive and irresponsible. ------- That is an SSA decision and if you tell them that she is unable to properly handle her moneys, and /or if current medical records show it, they can get her an RP. Or, if she ASKS for it, admitting she has such troubles, the SSA will - and it can be someone she trusts and who spends most time with her.
"Spending whole checks on unnecessary crap. Sure things that are good and could be used like clothes. Shoes. Coats. Hair products. Oh my God. The hair products. --------- Sounds like someone else I know.
"Oh well. It is hers but I know she needs to pay her bills as well. She does have a need to go out to dinner or a movie like two to three times a week. Also I think she is worsening. She feels there is nothing wrong. Hates it when I even speak of it. How it affects her reasoning. That really sets her off. Usually ends in the police showing to mediate or take her. She was taken recently due to her mental breakdown. She won't take her pills. She refuses. I found her pills in the trash hidden in toilet paper. Also seen one in the toilet that didn't flush. I'm guessing whole bottle as there were plenty then none. Whole bottles would sit for months without being touched. I would always ask her if she took them and she would say yes. Angrily usually. Sometimes nice maybe to completely misdirect me. -------- So sorry. Hopefully her medical visits have been thorough and her doctor's records reveal confusion or illogical thinking or something.
"Her insurance was cut when the affordable health care act went through. --------- For so many people :(
"For some reason she made too much money and had a 4000 spend down and she couldn't even afford that. Which meant she had to spend 4000 every six months as the spend down restarted every six. -------- Not my field, but I know that is a nightmare.
"Having multiple kids. I afforded what I could. We're not married but my insurance an the kids is very expensive. Mostly they are still taken care of the big stuff but very limited. As it is my son's therapy drains me even though I have a couple pay which is 20 percent. Still spendy. Almost 200 an hour at 2 hours a week and 8 times a month is still spendy. We do have 5 kids. ------- I know, so very expensive.
"Well 4 with us as the other left us early. Sad and affected her majorly. Me as well. The whole family as a matter of fact. But was meant to be. Muscular dystrophy. Rare form. -------- Who, your lady or the child?
"Seemed to go downhill from there. She can't afford therapy. Let alone her meds. She lost for a period of time due to inability to pay up front. Otherwise would have seen doctor she says. I have been in the dark about a lot of it until last year or so. Seemed ok. Maybe you could refer a psychiatrist to see her. -------- Unfortunately, not, I stick with the legal advice with SS - but she will need one that her insurance covers, so you will want to see who is in her network.
"One that would be good. It would help. What are your fees. Other than the 40. ----- See above. No fee unless/ until she wins, then as noted above. It is illegal to charge for legal work on representation until one gets written approval from the SSA, specifically - it is very regulated and protective towards vulnerable disabled people, as it should be.
"I would likely pay that if you're for real. Also just be brief with price range. I do have medical power of attorney which was given recently ------ I think you may wish to google me and my practice in PA, you will find me all over the web. (Avvo.com as well). I know it can be unnerving to retain a lawyer (fortunately, no retainer required here).
Going back to it, though - you need to look at her determination letter and appeal her before you run out of time. If you blow that deadline, I may be unable to help reverse it (if that ends up being possible) and it may be that we need to start anew, which may not be as favorable for her or even do-able (each case is rather fact specific).
Be well. It is a busy week here, with a hearing on Wed., but I will reach back to you should you leave a mesasge.
Stephanie O. Joy