Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

If You Are Represented For Social Security Disability or SSI, When Do You Pay The Fee?

Social Security requires disability attorneys and non-attorney disability representatives to follow Social Security fee payment guidelines when they represent disability applicants. If you obtain representation services from an attorney or non-attorney representative, you do not pay a retainer or a fee upfront. Social Security allows your representative to collect a representation fee equal to twenty- five percent of any back payment up to a specified maximum (currently, this is $6000.00 but the max is subject to change every few years) if your disability claim is approved.

If you are not approved, they are not entitled to a fee for their representation. But while they may not be entitled to a representation fee if you have no back payment or are denied, they still may be entitled to collect payment for incidental expenses.

Incidental expenses are outlined in the fee agreement you sign with your representative. Incidental expenses might include but are not limited to copy expenses, telephone calls, medical records, travel, or any other expense incurred during your disability case. Social Security fee agreements are legally binding contracts for payment. Some collect agreed upon incidental fees whether you win or lose your disability claim, while others collect only if you win, and still others charge no incidental fees at all.

It is important to read your fee agreement thoroughly. Only sign the agreement if you agree with the fee and incidental expenses.

Generally, Social Security pays your representation fee prior to paying you your back payment benefits. However they do not pay your agreed upon incidental expenses prior to paying you your back payment. Consequently, you are still obligated to pay your representative for any agreed upon expenses once you receive your back payment.

While Social Security pays most disability representation fees through fee withholding, there are exceptions. There are some non-attorney representatives who are not eligible for fee withholding and there are attorneys who prefer not to use fee withholding. In these cases, you are still for paying the representation fee and incidental expenses out of your disability back payment.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

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?
Retroactive Social Security Benefits with reduced early retirement at 62?

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