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Do I have to Sign a Contract to Hire an Attorney?

Yes, to charge you a fee for the service you are given, the Social Security Administration requires that you file either a Fee Agreement or a Fee Petition with the Social Security Administration. Your attorney can’t charge you more than the fee amount the Social Security Administration approves. If an attorney collects a fee without the Social Security Administration’s approval, or charges or collects too much for a fee, they can be suspended or disqualified from representing anyone before the Social Security Administration. At The Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey, we have you sign an attorney fee contract and...

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No. 7 – The long-term disability carrier is denying my benefits because my physician won’t respond to their request for information. What should I do?

No. 7 - The long-term disability carrier is denying my benefits because my physician won't respond to their request for information. What should I do?The long-term disability carrier should not be contacting your treating physician without letting you know. In a 9th Circuit court case, Safon v. Wells Fargo & Company, Long-term Disability Plan, 522 F.3d 863 (9th Cir. 2008), the court held that direct contact with a treating physician was a direct violation of the ERISA fiduciary duty.This court also held that Met Life and Wells Fargo violated ERISA by attempting to use...

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How Much Will The Fee Be In My Social Security Disability Claim?

table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Cambria","serif"; }By law, the attorney fee can be no more than 25% of the past due benefits or $6264.50, whichever is less.However, your attorney can charge you for out of pocket expenses, such as medical reports or fees that doctors charge for completing disability forms, these expenses aren’t paid by the Social Security Administration and they are your responsibility to pay.If you are found to be eligible for Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration will withhold 25% of your past due benefits towards the fee. The Social Security Administration...

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No. 6 – The Long-term Disability Carrier is trying to talk with my treating physician behind my back. What should I do?

No. 6 - The Long-term Disability Carrier is trying to talk with my treating physician behind my back. What should I do?Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for the long-term disability insurance company to use the medical release which you signed to communicate directly with your treating physicians without notice to you. They will also tell your treating physician their version of your medical condition and your policy terms in an attempt to get the physician to release you to some form of employment.In the case of Safon v. Wells Fargo & Company, Long-term Disability Plan,...

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No. 5 – What every medical professional needs to know about ERISA

No. 5 - What every medical professional needs to know about ERISAIt is important that medical professionals understand their long-term disability policy so they can prevent the disaster of being disabled and being unable to recover the benefits they deserve.Did you know that there are three types of disability policies? Do you know which kind you have?The first is an individual disability policy, which you may have purchased directly from a carrier and which provides you long-term disability benefits in the event of sickness or injury.Do you know that there are two types of...

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When Should I Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney?

At The Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey,  our social security disability professionals suggest that you contact a Social Security Disability attorney before you file a claim for benefits so that you understand the five step Social Security Disability process and what steps you have to take so that you should be receiving Social Security Disability benefits, it’s not a simple as may think and attorney Nancy L. Cavey has written a free consumer “Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits” to help you with the Social Security Disability process, you can order your free, no obligation copy by call...

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No. 4 – The 2008 economy and the payment of long-term disability benefits.

No. 4 - The 2008 economy and the payment of long-term disability benefits.At the Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey we are seeing a "slow pace strategy" by long-term disability carriers. We have found that carriers aren't "receiving paperwork," asking for the same information over and over, suggesting that they need information, indicating that there is a delay in getting information from physicians. These are all delay tactics that the carriers are using to delay payment to you.With stock prices down and a lack of investment income earnings, disability insurance companies are taking longer to determine disability claims and to...

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What are Costs in a Social Security Disability Claim?

Many times Nancy Cavey, Pinellas and Hillsborough County Social Security Disability attorney, will contact your doctor and ask them to fill out what is called a residual functional capacity form. She always gets her medical records from the treating physicians.At The Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey, we prepay the expenses associated with getting these records or these forms filled out. Costs can vary depending on the number of medical doctors you have seen, the size your medical records and whether we need to have your doctor fill out a residual functional capacity form. Costs rarely run over $350.00.The Social...

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I Have Received Notification that There is Going to be a Vocational Expert at my Social Security Disability Hearing, Why?

table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Cambria","serif"; }As previously explained in other posts, there is a five step sequential evaluation process that every Social Security Disability claims goes through. At steps four and five there is a question about whether or not you can return to the lightest job you’ve held in the fifteen years prior to your disability based on your age, education, training, work experience and your physical and mental difficulties. The vocational expert will be given a hypothetical by the administrative law judge and asked whether or not you are capable...

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I am Confused: Why Shouldn’t I just File for Social Security Retirement Benefits instead of Social Security Disability Benefits?

table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Cambria","serif"; }What a great question, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is just that, an insurance program that you pay for as a result of the deductions from your paycheck.If you are disabled and unable to work we believe that you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits and not Social Security Retirement benefits. Here’s why:1. You have to be age 62 or older to apply for Social Security Disability Retirement benefits.2. The Social Security Retirement benefits are based on your average earnings during your work life. If you have...

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