Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis Pushes To Freeze EAJA Fees

According to the San Francisco Gate, a new amendment introduced by Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis (R) seeks to freeze the Equal Access to Justice Act, at least temporarily, which could threaten claimants seeking Social Security benefits. The Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) of 1980 allows individuals, small businesses, non-profits and other to collect attorney fees if they successfully sue the Federal Government when the government has wronged them. The program is under criticism for its lack of monitoring of payments and for allowing non-profit environmental groups to abuse the law as a regular source of funding.

Lummis spoke on the House floor about challenges and fairness of EAJA, and the government’s lack of keeping records on who is receiving payments and how much since 1995. Lummis claims 14 environmental groups successfully recovered $37 million by filing 1,200 lawsuits. Freezing or temporarily ending the payment system would be helpful in short-term aiding of paying for the federal government’s operations. Legislators have yet to come to full terms of budget cutting and prevent a looming government shutdown.
The Equal Access to Justice Acts allow people to apply for attorney fee awards, up to $125 an hour, and other legal expenses associated with pursing litigation, such as in a case of appealing Social Security benefit claim denials. The program allows individuals of any socio-economic status to address legitimate grievances against the government. It may also prevent Social Security Disability claimants from finding lawyer to represent them in federal court.

According to Lummis, Amendment 195 would place on hold payments for the remainder of 2011, and then unfrozen and paid out the following end of the fiscal year. However, the amendment’s phrasing leaves open questions, which could lead to payments being held indefinitely or dramatically reduced.


    I didn't think there was a caring professional considerate attorney firm on the planet, but Troutman & Troutman proved me wrong. From the receptionist to the legal assistance to the attorney and more they were exceptional people.

    - Robert S.

    They did a fantastic job getting everything gathered up and getting the trial done as quickly as possible. Anytime I had a question they were patient and help me understand what was going on. Especially Christy and Charlie were great.

    - Michael M.

    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

    - Billy S.

    Mr. Troutman walked me through the entire process. Heather was available each time I called, answered all my crazy questions, and helped me fill out forms along the way. I was never treated like I was wasting time.

    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

We Are Here to Help 

Free & Confidential Consultations
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.