What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Do Social Security Disability and SSI Lawyers Require A Retainer? (Fees and costs)
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Disability lawyers and non-attorney disability representatives are not allowed to demand a retainer for their services. Disability attorneys or representatives receive one fourth of any back payment of benefits that are due the disability beneficiary or their dependents (spouse or children) up to the maximum fee amount allowable ( How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?).
If the maximum allowed fee is collected from the disabled beneficiary’s back payment, nothing will be taken from their dependents’ back pay. However, if the maximum fee amount was not collected from the disabled beneficiary’s back payment, then one fourth of their dependent’s back payment will be taken in an effort to pay the attorney or representative the maximum fee amount that is due to them per the fee agreement that was signed.
In addition to the maximum fee, disability lawyers or non-lawyer representatives are allowed to charge what are known as incidental fees. Incidental fees might include reimbursement for travel, copies, medical records, vocational or medical experts, phone charges, etc. and they are allowable if the disability applicant agreed to pay them when they signed their fee agreement with their representative.
Fee agreements are legally binding agreements between representatives and their clients that contain the agreed upon fee amount and incidental expenses. Some lawyers and Social Security non-attorney representatives ask that disability claimants pay incidental expenses whether they win or lose their disability case while others may ask that the expenses be paid only if they win their case. It just depends upon the disability lawyer or representative.
The important thing for disability claimants to remember is fee agreements are legally binding and that disability lawyers and representatives can demand payment for anything the disability applicant agreed to pay when they signed the their fee agreement. It goes without saying that if a disability applicant chooses to obtain the services of a paid representative, either an attorney or non-attorney, they should read their fee agreement carefully before signing.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials