Do You Pay A Disability Attorney When You Are Approved?

As far as paying your attorney, most attorneys have their fee automatically withheld by Social Security from your back payment amount so you are not responsible for paying the disability attorney their fee when you receive your social security back payment.

However, this is not always the case, so verify that your attorney has fee withholding before spending your back payment of disability benefits.

Social Security allows a disability attorney or representative to charge a fee for their services. An attorney is allowed twenty-five percent of any back payment up to $6000.00 if you are approved for disability benefits. If twenty five percent of your back payment is less than $6000.00, the attorney is entitled to twenty-five percent of whatever back payment that is available.

Your disability attorney may also be entitled to twenty-five percent of your dependent's back pay if they were not able to get the maximum fee amount from your disability back payment. Of course, if you are not awarded any back disability benefits the attorney receives no fee from your disability claim or your dependents benefits.

The Social Security fee arrangement only allows a fee to be collected from back payment disability benefits. While this is the general fee agreement rule, there may be other monetary charges. An attorney has the right to collect incidental expenses incurred while representing you.

Incidental expenses might include fees for copying, travel, phone calls, medical records, or even medical expert testimony should it be necessary. Some disability attorneys charge incidental fees whether they win or lose, while others charge them only if they win the disability claim. And still others do not charge incidental expenses at all.

This is why it is important to read a disability attorney fee agreement before signing it. You are obligating yourself to pay whatever expenses stated in the fee agreement. If the fee agreement says that you are willing to pay the expenses whether you win or lose your disability case you are obligated to pay them.

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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