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Appointing a representative for claiming SSD benefits — Part II

Appointing a representative for claiming SSD benefits — Part II

| Jun 19, 2015 | Social Security Disability |

A previous blog post discussed the selection and appointment of a representative for dealing with the Social Security Administration in matters related to Social Security disability claims. That blog post also discussed how representation fees are determined as well as the two different methods that claimants and representatives may choose. This blog post may help Newark, New Jersey, claimants understand how they can make the SSA approved payment.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, the fee, which the SSA approves is the maximum amount that a claimant needs to pay the representative. However, the representative may charge for certain out-of-pocket necessary expenses such as medical examinations. It is important to remember that in cases where the SSA has approved a fee, it deducts the amount from the claimant’s SSD benefits and pays the representative directly. The rest of the money is sent to the claimant.

There are times when the claimant may have to pay the fees to the representative. This can happen when the representative is supposed to receive more than what the SSA withheld from the SSD benefits and paid to that representative. A claimant may also have to make the direct payment if the representative is not eligible for payment from the SSA, if the SSA did not withhold 25 percent from SSD benefits or if the SSA has already sent the full benefit amount to the claimant, despite the representative’s request.

In certain cases, the SSA approves a representative’s fee when someone else, such as an insurance company, pays the representative. However, the SSA needs to approve this mode of payment first. This provision is not applicable to cases where the representative has informed the SSA that the claimant does not need to pay anything, or the claimant, and auxiliary claimants, are not directly or indirectly liable for paying the representative or if organization or agency that uses government funds pays the fees.

A claimant may also have to pay a lawyer for appealing a decision of the SSA in federal court. In such cases, the court will allow a reasonable fee for the attorney’s services but it does not require a formal approval. However, the fee that the attorney charges cannot exceed 25 percent of all past-due SSD benefits that the claimant receives as a result of the court’s decision.

Source: SSA.gov, “Your Right to Representation,” Accessed on June 12, 2015