Law Offices of Kathleen Siemont

WORKER’S COMPENSATION:

California makes all employers carry insurance to cover if their employees get hurt at work. It is an insurance policy paid for by employers to provide benefits to employees who become injured at work. It has been reformed multiple times, and benefits have been significantly reduced over the past 10 years.

As a CA State Bar certified specialist in worker’s compensation law, I can explain how the system works, and guide you the best way through it in one piece. Prior experience as an insurance defense attorney for over ten years at a large worker’s compensation firm taught me the way claims are analyzed, and how settlements get negotiated.

I represent injured workers in Napa, Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, American Canyon, Yountville, Lake County, Dixon, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Benicia and Contra Costa County.  These areas are covered by Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board venues including Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Oakland, and Sacramento.  I meet injured workers at my office in Benicia, located at 701 Southampton Road, Suite #211, Benicia, CA.  Please note, if you are unable to climb stairs, there are several handicap-accessible restaurants nearby.

Attorney fees are 15% of the final settlement in worker’s compensation, so there is no out of pocket cost for an injured worker to seek representation.  If you are an injured worker, please review Inside Info for the Injured Worker

SOCIAL SECURITY:

The process of applying for Disability Retirement can be  overwhelming.  Many people get lost in the lengthy provisions of retirement plans, Worker’s Comp benefits, Industrial Disability Leave, long term disability and Social Security.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that having legal representation for your Social Security application greatly increases your chances of approval, simply by knowing what information to include in your application, and how to present it to a judge. I accept referrals from NOSSCR, the California Teachers Association, as well as the SOAR program for moderate-means beneficiaries.

Attorney fees from a successful Social Security application are capped at 25% of the back pay, up to a maximum fee of $6,000. In your decision, Social Security determines the date you became unable to work. Social Security benefits are not payable for the first five months after your disability date. Soc-date-of-onset.

Social Security will calculate the attorney fee and Social Security pays the attorney directly from back pay you receive, up to either $6,000 or up to 25% of the past-due benefits.

ESTATE PLANNING:

As a member of ElderCounsel, a nationwide network of Trust and Estate planners, I am able to answer questions about how to set up your Estate plan. Most people should understand why a living trust is better than a will, and how to convey property to the people you want now, while maintaining all your property rights through your lifetime. Advance planning to maintain needs-based medical coverage is an absolute necessity.  If you or a loved one relies upon Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal (what’s the difference?) then you need to include a Special Needs Trust in your estate plan. Don’t disinherit your special-needs child because you think it will disqualify them from benefits.  Special Needs Trusts are often used in Worker’s Compensation settlements.

GENERAL LEGAL CONSULTATIONS:

I will gladly provide a single free 20 minute phone consultation for new clients. If I can’t help you, I can at least refer you to another resource to help you. 

General legal counseling (60-90 minutes) in my office is available by prior appointment.  Hourly rate $250

Please note, even though I’m sure you’re a very nice person, I cannot provide ongoing pro bono legal advice for unrepresented cases through repeated phone calls, emails, nor can I review your settlement documents for free. 

There are no out of pocket costs for contingent representation. Attorneys receive 15% of the total disability settlement at the end of the case. In Social Security cases, the rate is 25% of the past due benefits capped at a maximum of $6,000. 

If you wish to retain our office, please fill out the following contact form:

If you cannot afford an attorney, I suggest utilizing one of these pro bono programs for legal assistance.