Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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What Can A Disability Lawyer Charge For Their Services - Fees and Expenses?
Social Security allows disability claimants to retain the services of a Social Security disability representative to help them with their disability claims.
Disability representatives can be lawyers or non-attorney representatives. All attorney and non-attorney representatives are bound by the same fee guidelines. They are allowed to charge twenty-five percent of any back payment of benefits up to the current maximum fee amount of $6000 (this amount increases from time to time).
This simply means if an individual is approved for disability and there is a back pay of benefits, the representative is entitled to twenty- five percent of the back pay amount or six thousand, whichever is less.
Certainly, if an individualís back pay of disability benefits amounts to two thousand dollars the lawyer is not going to receive six thousand. They will receive five hundred dollars.
That being said, disability applicants should keep in mind their lawyer is entitled to twenty five percent of all back pay benefits on the claim. If twenty- five percent of the disability beneficiaryís back pay does not reach the maximum, the lawyer is entitled to twenty - five percent of each dependentís back pay up to six thousand total (for instance, a dependent could be a child of the claimant).
In addition to the normal fee agreement amount, lawyers and representatives are allowed to charge their clients incidental fees. Incidental fees might include the cost of copies, telephone calls, travel, medical records, or vocational experts.
The important thing to remember when retaining the services of a Social Security disability lawyer or representative is to read your fee agreement thoroughly. If you do not understand something in the fee agreement ask for clarification. Some disability lawyers charge incidental expenses whether they win or lose your case, some do not charge incidental fees, and others only charge incidental fees if you win your disability case. Once you sign your fee agreement you have legally obligated yourself to pay the agreed upon expenses.
While it may seem complicated, the services of a disability lawyer or representative can mean the difference between losing or winning your disability claim, especially at the administrative law judge hearing appeal level.
While some disability applicants are approved at the initial disability claim or reconsideration appeal level, far more have to appeal their disability claim to an administrative law judge to win their disability benefits.
With this fact in mind, Social Security sets fee guidelines that make disability representation affordable for all. Lawyers and representatives are allowed a fair fee for their services and disability applicants do not have be disadvantaged because they cannot afford to pay a retainer or legal fees up front.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria