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Question On Eaja Fees?


broncovet

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Does anyone know if EAJA applies ONLY with a remand or would it include a win for the VET?

Obviously, if a Veteran is considering appealing, then knowing whether he could get attorney fees paid by EAJA is a big deal. Carrie Weletz at Bergman and Moore talked about EAJA in a May 2 podcast, but another source indicated that the VA only pays EAJA in the case of a remand, because when the VET is awarded a "win" and he is represented by an attorney, the Vet has to pay attorney fees.

It would be awesome if Carrie or another law firm would respond. Or, if you are a Vet and got your win and had the EAJA pay the fees, then that would be valuable information. Thanks.

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Lawyers don't make real money on Eaja fees. I think it is hardly worth their while. What they want is a share of big retro. Bronco, I think you are right about the fee structure for the lawyers. Remands that are terminal the lawyer gets Eaja. Claims where there is a big award the lawyer gets his/her 20%. I am not sure of that but it sound logical. I think it is unusual that lawyers who are unsucessful get paid anything. I wonder what the going rate is for Eaja fees? I got a remand from CAVC to the BVA and my lawyer did not ask for Eaja because I believe he thinks we have a good shot at a very big payday.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Lawyers don't make real money on Eaja fees. I think it is hardly worth their while. What they want is a share of big retro. Bronco, I think you are right about the fee structure for the lawyers. Remands that are terminal the lawyer gets Eaja. Claims where there is a big award the lawyer gets his/her 20%. I am not sure of that but it sound logical. I think it is unusual that lawyers who are unsucessful get paid anything. I wonder what the going rate is for Eaja fees? I got a remand from CAVC to the BVA and my lawyer did not ask for Eaja because I believe he thinks we have a good shot at a very big payday.

The EAJA payments (when and if any) are based upon "approved" hourly rates for legal services. The process often reduces both the hours claimed and the per hour billing amounts from the lawyers. Lawyers and legal assistants, office administrative help, etc. have different rates.

Basic eligibility (as I remember) is based upon net worth, and I think the limit is 2Mil. net worth.

Remember that the VA will pay 20%, and lawyers in principal can charge up to 30%. "Expenses" can be charged on top of the VA paid 20%. Some lawyer will agree to the 20%, others want more. I have seen lawyer client agreements that allow the lawyer to keep the EAJA payment on top of the 20%. Remember that civil (non VA) cases may allow the lawyer to collect up to 50%.

Edited by Chuck75
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  • HadIt.com Elder

If I recall correctly, my atty was paid around $6800, thru the EAJA, for my case, which took 3+ yrs and was a remand win. The atty is required to submit a claim for EAJA funding to the court, that explains hours and hourly rate charged, in addition to costs. That claim must be approved by the court, in order to receive payment. I doubt my atty spent 20 hrs, over the 3+ yrs on the case, himself. That works out to over $300 an hr, for his services, of whch many were performed by his legal secretary and paralegal. That's still a good hourly rate! jmo

pr

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This is just my opinion, but I would rather have something rather than nothing.

I am currently in a battle with Social Security and have my second ALJ hearing with a very low approval rate Administrative Law Judge in three weeks. I met with my lawyer yesterday, and we are prepared for yet another denial and going forth to request a review from the Appeals Council. If that gets denied, then we will file in District Court - where my lawyer is sure we will win, and EAJA fees will then come into play.

To answer the original question, EAJA fees are awarded when the claimant wins their case against the government. If the government can prove that they has reasonable justification for their position, then they won't have to pay the fees.

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Here is a link to EAJA

http://www.benefits....1MRI_3_SecC.doc

Here is a link to th e SVR show that explains EAJA by Carrie Weletz Bergmann / Moore.

http://www.svr-radio.com/images/05-02-2012_Carrie_Weletz_Jerrel_John_Tbird.mp3

Hope this helps a Vet.

Basser

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Thanks for the responses. I guess what I am asking is does the EAJA pay the attorney so the VEteran does not have to? If this is true, then why would a Veteran not hire an attorney?

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