How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
What is the maximum fee a Social Security Disability attorney can charge?
If you decide to get representation for your disability claim with the social security administration, you can choose to be represented by an attorney or a non-attorney. This may be surprising to some, the fact your claim may be represented by someone who is not a lawyer.
However, Social security law is not law per se. At the early levels, it is administrative regulation and procedure. In fact, this is why disability applications and reconsideration appeals (the request for reconsideration is the very first appeal you can file) are actually processed by disability examiners, individuals who have been trained to evaluate medical information and who have been trained as to how the social security administration decides disability claims, but who, obviously, are not lawyers.
Are you better off going with a lawyer versus a non-attorney disability representative? Not necessarily. Some lawyers tend to dabble in a wide variety of legal areas, becoming amateurs in all but experts in none. You really don't want that kind of lawyer handling your case.
On the other hand, there are many non attorney representatives who used to work in social security field offices and used to work as disability examiners for SSA. These individuals are intimately familiar with the Social Security Disability system and can provide extremely able representation.
The maximum fee that can be charged by either a Social Security Disability attorney or a non-attorney Social Security Disability representative is the same amount. And it is only paid in the event that a case is won.
In other words, if you have representation and your case is not won, you cannot be charged a fee for representation. However, win or lose, you can be charged for other expenses that are not related to the fee for representation, such as reimbursing your representative for the cost of obtaining medical records, or the cost of postage, or travel expenses.
How is the fee for representation determined? The fee that is charged by a disability representative is based on the amount of back pay that is won by a claimant. It is equal to 25 percent of whatever back pay a disability claimant is eligible to receive. However, it is also capped at a maximum fee amount, which is the very most a representative can receive regardless of how much back pay a claimant wins.
To see the current maximum fee amount, visit this page: How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?
The following is an example of an uncommon situation that was brought up in a recent question.
Question: "The lawyer I am considering hiring wants me to pay 21% of back-pay with no cap if I win at any step after my case has been to the appeals council for the first time (i.e., if I win in federal court , or I win at any time after a federal court or appeals council remand.) Furthermore, the contract does not limit my attorney's right to file a fee petition if there are no back benefits payable. Is this normal?"
Answer: In reading the SSA regulations, it appears that this may very well be normal. You do not have to take your claim to Federal Court, you could file a new disability claim and go through the process again. The protected maximum on a fee agreement appears to end at the Appeal Council. Go to Google and search this reference: GN 03920.060 Attorneys’ Fees for Representation in Proceedings Before a Court
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
Chances of winning Social Security Disability
Should I get attorney representation for an upcoming disability hearing?
Should I get a lawyer for my disability case?
How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?
Does Social Security pay the Disability Attorney fee?
What is the maximum fee a Social Security Disability attorney can charge?
What Can A Disability Lawyer Charge For Their Services - Fees and Expenses?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
The Social Security Disability Representation Fee and What a Lawyer is Paid
If You Are Represented For Social Security Disability or SSI, When Do You Pay The Fee?
How does a Social Security attorney get paid?
How do Disability Lawyers in North Carolina get paid their fees?
Will collecting retirement stop disability benefits?
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
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?
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.