My plan was to write this under the byline: Anonymous Disability Attorney. My goal in doing that was to demonstrate that the book is about the information and not about me. Of course I’m wonderful, goes without saying. But I don’t want you to know about me.
Indeed, I do not want your business. (It’s not about you. It’s about me.) Were I Anonymous, as opposed to quirky Kay Tracy, Esq., you couldn’t find me even if I were as clients, which, I repeat. I am not. But my Agent insisted you know my name. “No one is going to want to shell out cold, hard cash for a book like this unless they can verify that you are the knowledgeable, friendly, quirky, Social Security disability lawyer and professional you say you are.” So, O-kay. I see the point. Verify I am who I say I am. Then, forget you ever heard of me. White-out my name. Think of this as an alternate universe where the book exists, but I don’t.
Disclaimer About Advertising: Because I am not taking new clients from the pool of fearless book readers, this book is not an advertisement. However, as various bar associations view things differently, someone else may decide it is advertising; and, in such an event, I will agree it is advertising, but an example of what not to do eally when advertising; because, unless this book (yep a book is comeing) is purchased only by the 10-20 people in my mother’s (she’s 93 – Hi Mom!) book club, I will not agree to represent you. “Why?” you ask. I’m not telling. (So there.) Not Advice: This is (surprise!) a webpage and excerpt from a book to be released by a publisher near you. No book/website/friend/Grocery/Deli Cashier (or someone standing in line) OR, second cousin twice removed on your mother’s side is a substitute for a conversation with a knowledgeable professional. The key here is the word knowledgeable. How to distinguish the knowledgeable from (I’m just going to say it) the muddled lawn gnome, is one purpose of the book and website. As a consumer of legal services you need to know enough information to ask the right questions your to-be advocate. If you are talking about wills, trusts and taxes you have a starting framework to guide you to the right person. Practically nobody knows about Social Security Disability. Retirement, yes – tons of very good books. None that will tell you what the SCO is, however.
Caveat Attorney fees: The federal government has set the fee. By law, you do not pay anything unless they win the case. The maximum you will ever pay, no matter how long it takes to get your case approved, is 25%. Some lawyers will agree to limit their fee to $7,200. Thus, if your back benefits are $12,000, the maximum fee will be $3,000 ($12,000 x .25). If the back benefit is $190,000, the maximum fee is either 25% ($47,500) or $7,200. Many lawyers (myself included) have a “two tiered” fee agreement. If you win your case at any point up to and including a hearing, the fee will cap at $7,200. But if it needs to be appealed, then it can go up to the full 25%. Many people are surprised by this. My clients are never surprised. I have them read the fee agreement with me. (I know, call me crazy.)
Loophole: First Amendment Right: This is an example of the First Amendment in action. I have a right to put my thoughts out there for anyone to see. I have a passion for this area of law. Someone said to me once, “Find a way to be of service, of use, in your work and rewards will follow.” (So, hello! I am the whitest white chic you will ever meet. A true Midwestern (meaning predominantly white) princess, from home with a white picket fence, with a corn fed can-do attitude. My parents helped pay for my education- so I could be of use in the world.) That said, the attached “Jump Start Guide,” which will get you going down the disability trail is free.