Client Info

REMEMBER, THIS IS YOUR DATABASE. A VERY COMPLETE AND ROBUST FOUNDATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED. HOWEVER, YOU MIGHT FIND THAT YOU NEED/WANT SOMETHING CHANGED. IN MOST CASES THAT CHANGE CAN BE MADE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COVERS FEATURES OF THE “CLIENT INFO” TABLE THAT ARE NOT OBVIOUS AND SELF-EXPLANATORY. 

 Client Info 

If you have an existing client base it is possible to upload that information into this database from an Excel spreadsheet. The fields must be compatible. The program will assign a Client ID number to each new person that is entered. That number can be set to begin at any value. The Client ID number is used to connect client information across all client related tables. As such, the Client Info table is where you navigate to the SSA CasesPayment/ExpensesFederal, and Time tables. The tabs to those tables are located at the bottom of the Client Info table. 

All navigation begins with the Client Info table. Clients can be searched by Last Name, First Name, SSN, Primary Phone, or Email. There are two places to search for Clients. A search term can be put in the upper right search box. You can use “*” as a wild-card – john* would find all names that start with “john”. This is not the best place to search for a common name like Smith. On the left is a red bar with “Client Search”. Clicking on that will present a query where you enter both First Name and Last Name. The names must be entered exactly as they are in the database. A wild-card cannot be used.  

When in edit mode you do not need to capitalize “First Name”, “Middle Initial”, “Last Name”, or “Preferred Name”. Nor do you need to add the dashes in “SSN” or the phone number fields. They will be changed with saving. “Preferred Name” is a required field. 

 You cannot enter “City” or “State”. Those values will be entered after entering the “Zip Code”. The city and state entered is the official information from the Post Office. There are some city names that are allowed as alternatives. If you wish to have those entered instead of the official city you will need to make the correction in the City/State/Zips table. 

The information fields for “Auxiliary Beneficiaries” will appear after you have selected the number of beneficiaries that you need. 

Information about the people with whom you can discuss the case, other than the client, goes in the “Permissions” field. 

The “Payment/Expense Balance” field shows a running balance of money expended as entered into the Payments/Expenses table. 

The concept of the database is that every Client starts as a Prospect but not every Prospect becomes a Client. The “Status” of a person should become Client only when you have agreed to represent them and they have agreed to your representation. 

Once a person’s Status is changed to Client then the best practice is to immediately create a new SSA Case. A new case should be created regardless of whether you have a signed 1696 or other needed documents. The reason is because several reports and alerts are triggered by the SSA Case table, not Client Info. 

It is assumed that most representatives will use the fee agreement to get paid. However, there are times when a fee petition is required, in which case you need to keep track of your time. That is easily done with the Time tab. Click on the Time tab, then NEW. A new screen will open with the date and start time already entered. Enter the task in the Notes field in the Time table and save. You will go back to the Client Info table. With the Time tab selected you will notice the task you just saved with a red STOP button. Clicking the STOP button enters the time you stop the task. All time is rounded up in six minutes increments. A task taking 3 minutes will record as 6 minutes; 14 minutes as 18 minutes, etc. That can be changed to real-time, 10, or 15 minutes. 

The Payments/Expenses tab is where you can keep track of expenses and payments related to the client. An expense can be entered as either a positive or negative number with a payment being just the opposite. An invoice can be saved with the expense record if desired.