Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

If I lose my case, or win but do not get back pay, will I still owe a representation fee?

"If I don't get disability back pay, will I have to pay a lawyer fee?"

A disability attorney or non-attorney rep cannot be paid a fee if there is no back pay. This is specifically because of the way that they are paid, which is strictly regulated by the Social Security Administration.

This is how individuals who represent disability claims are paid: 1/4 of the back pay up to a max of $6000 (this is the maximum fee payable as of 2016. Keep in mind that this amount could change in future years). The attorneys and non-attorney reps are fully aware of this and this is simply how things are done. To see the current max fee go here: Maximum disability attorney fee.

Basically, if there was no back pay, you do not owe a fee. Obviously, a person will not owe back pay when they have not won their case. But there are cases in which ongoing benefits are won but there is still no back pay. This is more likely to be true if the case was won quickly (because most back pay is a result of the case taking a very long time in the appeals process).

Keep in mind that if you do not owe a fee, you may still owe the representative other costs (usually reimbursement for obtaining medical records) that you agreed to when you hired the representative (very often, this is the cost that was incurred for getting your medical records) but there would not be a fee payable for representation provided if there was no back pay in the case.

Here are some related pages on the site:

1. Disability back pay, how long?

2. What is the maximum SSDI back pay?

3. How far back will Social Security pay SSDI back pay benefits?

4. When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

SSI disability reconsideration
Social Security Reconsideration status
How long does a Social Security Reconsideration take?
Social Security Reconsideration process
Social Security Disability Reconsideration denied
Tips for filing a Social Security Disability Reconsideration
Social Security Disability denial letter and appeal
What happens after you request a disability hearing?
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
Which medical conditions will social security recognize as a disability?
If I don't get disability back pay, do I pay a lawyer fee?
What is the average time for an answer after a SSDI or SSI disability hearing?
Will I get an increase in my SSI check?
Getting disability and receiving a personal injury settlement
Do disability benefits come from SSI or SSDI?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida