SSD lawyer pay when they win the case

What does an SSD lawyer get paid when they win the case?

Social Security created a very strict fee payment system for SSD lawyers and representatives who represent Social Security Disability applicants. The reason they created this was to allow individuals with little or no means to have fair access to representation for their disability cases.

Social Security has determined a disability attorney or representative fee of 25% or 6000.00, whichever is less, provided there is a back payment of disability benefits. The total 6000.00 maximum can be a cumulative total from the disabled beneficiary and any dependents entitled to a back payment on their record. Conversely, if there is no disability back payment there is no representative fee.

That being said, if you decide to get a disability lawyer or representative you will have to sign a fee agreement that creates a binding financial contract. This fee agreement will of course include the normal fee language (25% or 6000.00) and other potential expenses the representative expects reimbursement for. For example, some lawyers/representatives ask for reimbursement for expenses such as travel and the cost of medical records gathered for your disability claim.

Social Security only approves the fee portion of the fee agreement; they do not make a determination as to other expenses you agreed to pay. This does not mean you will not be obligated to pay these expenses! Remember, this is a binding financial contract and your representative may use other legal remedies to collect monies owed.

In summary, if you obtain the services of a representative, you will not have to pay any retainers or hourly rates. They will receive their fee by taking a portion of your back payment. Keep in mind fee agreements are binding with regard to any additional expenses you agree to pay when you signed your fee agreement.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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