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

If I File For Disability And Want An Attorney To Represent Me, Does Social Security Cover My Legal Fees?

In a manner of speaking, Social Security does cover legal fees for you if you want a disability attorney. Social Security has set forth guidelines that limit how much and when an attorney is entitled to receive legal fees for representing Social Security Disability applicants. Social Security rules stipulate that an attorney or a non-attorney disability representative can collect a portion of a disability beneficiary’s back payment of benefits.

Currently, an attorney or non-attorney disability representative can collect twenty five percent of a beneficiary’s disability back payment up to the $6000.00 maximum fee amount. They are allowed to collect twenty five percent of any dependent’s (your spouse or child) back payment to reach the maximum fee amount. If you do not have a disability back payment, your attorney is not entitled to collect a representation fee.

Having said that, you may be responsible for other payment obligations to your disability attorney. When you obtain the services of an attorney or non-attorney representative, you usually sign a fee agreement. Social Security allows attorneys and non-attorney representatives to charge incidental expenses for such things as copying, travel, phone calls, medical evidence, or any other agreed upon expense.

Some attorneys charge these expenses only if they win your disability claim, others charge these expenses whether they win your disability case or lose your disability claim, and still others do not charge incidental expenses at all.

If your disability representative charges incidental expenses, they are included in the fee agreement you signed. Fee agreements are legally binding contracts; therefore it is very important to read your fee agreement thoroughly before signing.

Currently, Social Security withholds the attorney fee (just the representation fee not incidental expenses) for attorneys and many non-attorney representatives prior to paying your disability back payment. However, many non-attorney representatives and some attorneys do not have fee withholding. If your representative does not have fee withholding, you are still obligated to pay their fee out of your disability back payment.

Remember, if you signed a fee agreement that obligated you to pay incidental expenses, you are obligated to pay those expenses to your disability representative as well. An attorney or non-attorney representative can demand payment for incidental expenses even if there is no representation fee.

Essential Questions

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?

Related pages:

What does a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative do for your claim?
Getting a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative for your case
How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
Disability Lawyers, Medical Records, and Social Security Hearings
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
If you apply for disability in Alabama
Will I qualify for disability Alabama
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing case?
Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability, or get an answer on your claim?
Using a lawyer for a Social Security Disability, SSDI, case
Receiving Social Security Disability and living in another country

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.