Social Security Disability Representatives’ Fee Cap Legislation
According to NOSSCR (the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives), the user fee rises each year because it has an automatic Cost-of-Living-Adjustment. [email@example.com]
The fee cap for fee agreements does not rise each year because it has no automatic Cost-of-Living-Adjustment. By statute, the Commissioner has the discretion, but not the mandate, to raise the fee cap. That has happened only once, in 2002, when Commissioner Barnhart raised the cap from $4,000 to $5,300. How many attorneys do you know who have not raised their fees over a 7 year period ? And, this fee is CONTINGENT AND CAPPED !
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) has introduced legislation to address this issue. His bill, H.R. 7285, contains two provisions. First, the bill would increase the maximum fee in fee agreement cases to $6,264.50. Second, the bill would establish a statutory annual COLA for the fee cap.
This Congress will be adjourning shortly. NOSSCR anticipates that the bill will be re-introduced next year in the new Congress. At that time, it will be given a new number.