Michael S Krieger LLC

Michael S Krieger LLC

3 employees
40 years in business

About this pro

Our firm limits its practice to Disability Law, which includes only Social Security and employee benefit short and long term disability claims and federal court litigation. I have been named Top Lawyer by 5280 magazine for the last 4 years in the specialty of Disability Law, but I share this honor with my amazingly compassionate paralegals.

People are usually going thru the worst time of their lives when trying to fight with the SSA or a large Fortune 500 insurance company: they are injured or sick, they have no income, and they up fighting to get income benefits they have paid in to an unfeeling SSA or have paid insurance premiums to greedy insurance companies.  Nothing feels better than saving my client's home and retirement savings than doing this work and doing it well.

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Denver, CO 80228
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

We only take disability cases in the Social Security and Employee benefit disability fields.  We talk on the phone first, getting information to decide whether it is appropriate to file a claim becuase it is a two year commitment typically.  We meet face-to-face to discuss our representation in detail and what to expect from the SSA or a disabilkity insurance carrier. We guide clients thru the initial application process and help with forms and doctor exams, suggest med evaluation options.  We want to talk to our clients at least once pr month while the case is ongoing.  We file administrative appeals, handle trials, file appeals to the SSA and, if necessary, to the US District Court.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

In addition to a Juris Doctor, I have a Masters in Psychology which has been invaluable in mental health disability cases.  I have been reading medical records for 37 years in all medical fields.  Since 1986 I have handled well over one thousand disability cases and filed over 110 US District Court lawsuits over disability cases.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

We take social security disability cases on the terms specified by the SSA, which means our fee is 25% of the back due benefit to a ceiling of $6000.  There are rare exceptions to this fee agreement which are consonant with SSA regulations and are thoroughly discussed prior to appealing matters to a higher administrative council or to the US District Court.

In Employee Benefit disability cases, we have a sliding scale of contingent fees running from 25% to 35% of benefits actually received by the client. 

Clients do have to agree to reimburse our out-of-pocket expenses, which are usually about $200 in SSDI cases and about $1000 in Employee Benefit cases.

How did you get started in this business?

My first SSDI case was in 1986 and my first insurance-related disability case was in 1987.  I formerly handled worker compensation cases, American with Disability Act matters, and personal injury cases, but I limited my practice to SSDI and Employee Benefit disability cases about 15 years ago.

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have represented clients from virtually every walk in life, including doctors, dentists, judges, lawyers, bricklayers, truck drivers, construction workers, general laborers, waitresses and secretaries.

I have handled virtually every kind of disability, including heart attack cases, neck and back injuries, cancer, pulmonary diseases, neurological disorders, tramautic brain injuries, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

There actually are many such events recently.  Our client was in danger of losing her home and her "win" before the SSA gave her back due benefits that saved her home from foreclosure.  Three clients finally won their SSDI claims after 5 years of going up and down the appeal ladder (one went up on appeal twice!), resulting in a very large back due benefit that will truly change their lives.  Those kind of results are what I call "Atticus Finch" moments.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Do NOT hire a national law firm because they do not know our Colorado SSA Judges, often use paralegals (even at trial!), and generally fail to return phone calls.  Get a lawyer who limits his practice to disability cases in Colorado.  Insist on regular communication.  Insist on a clear explanation of fees and costs.  Insist on a written fee agreement that complies with SSA regulations and Colorado rules of ethics.

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

How are you going to survive financially if it takes 24 months to obtain your disability benefits?  What other government programs or charities are available to assist you thru this tough period?  Have you adhered to your doctors' instructions in treating your conditions, including taking prescribed medications?  How can you talk to doctors so that important information is not left out of your medical records which may hurt your case?  How to talk to your doctors?

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