Social Security Administration: Systems Support Could Improve Processing Attorney Fee Payments in the Disability Program

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To ensure that people claiming disability insurance program benefits can obtain legal representation at a fair price, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to regulate the fees that attorneys charge people to represent their disability claims before the agency. Balancing the needs of the claimants with those of their attorneys, the law limits the amount of fees that attorneys can charge claimants, but also guarantees that those fees will be paid from the claimants' past-due benefits. Inefficiencies in the current process increase both the time it takes ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 17, 2001.

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To ensure that people claiming disability insurance program benefits can obtain legal representation at a fair price, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to regulate the fees that attorneys charge people to represent their disability claims before the agency. Balancing the needs of the claimants with those of their attorneys, the law limits the amount of fees that attorneys can charge claimants, but also guarantees that those fees will be paid from the claimants' past-due benefits. Inefficiencies in the current process increase both the time it takes to pay the attorney fees and the cost of administration. One segment of attorney fee processing--the fee approval process--was substantially simplified in 1991. Systems support could streamline the second segment of the processing--the fee payment--thus lowering the annual administrative costs and cutting processing time. Automation of this final segment of the fee process could help improve customer service for both claimants and their attorneys."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 17, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Social Security Administration: Systems Support Could Improve Processing Attorney Fee Payments in the Disability Program, text, May 17, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290374/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.