Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney fees

The Social Security Administration has rules governing attorneys and representatives with regard to the amount of their fee and when a fee can be collected.

Attorneys and Social Security representatives cannot charge a fee for their services if they do not win your disability case. If you are not approved for disability benefits, they will not receive a fee for their services; they will however be able to collect on any expenses you agreed to pay when you signed your fee agreement. Expenses might include but are not limited to medical records, travel, or vocational experts.

If you have an attorney, they cannot request you pay any kind of up front retainer for their services.

If your attorney or representative wins your disability case, they are entitled to receive 21% of your back payment of benefits up to a maximum of $6000.00 (current maximum) provided there is a back payment of benefits.

If 21% is less than $6000.00, you pay the lesser amount. Again, reimbursable expenses agreed upon in your fee agreement are outside the fee maximum.

Also, please note: Your representative can collect a percentage of any dependent who is entitled on your record if it turns out that they are not able to collect the entire $6000.00 from your back payment.

They are allowed 21% of their back payments as well. For example, if they were able to collect $4000.00 of their fee from you, they can collect a maximum of 2000.00 from any dependents entitled on your record.

The fee agreement is a contract

If you sign a fee agreement with an attorney or representative, it is legally binding. This means they are entitled to their fee and any agreed upon expenses. If you decide in the middle of your disability claim that you do not want to keep your representative, you can notify Social Security of your decision and they will remove them. However, this does not remove your obligation to pay their fee even if you have another representative.

In order for you not to be responsible for a fee, the former representative has to provide Social Security a letter of withdrawal that states they will waive their fee.

So what happens if they refuse to provide the letter? They can petition the judge for a fair fee for the work they performed on your claim prior to your obtaining the services of another representative.

Sometimes their fee petition is denied, other times they may be entitled to a partial or full fee amount based on your back payment. Technically, you could be liable for two full fee amounts. So if you chose a representative or attorney, you should plan on staying with them if at all possible.

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    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

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    How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability?
    Will a Judge give you an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
    What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
    Social Security Disability SSI and Medical conditions
    Social Security Disability lawyer fee
    Can a lawyer or attorney speed up my disability case?
    When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
    Going to a medical exam for Social Security Disability or SSI
    Filing for disability - How to file the disability application
    Do you need a lawyer to file for disability?
    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
    The Social Security Disability Award Letter
    Social Security Disability SSI Eligibility Requirements
    How Many Times Will you be denied before You Get Approved for Disability?
    What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How to Prove disability and qualify to win benefits
    How to speed up the disability process
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes
    What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
    Maximum back pay you can get from Social Security Disability or SSI
    How to qualify for disability
    What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?
    What is considered a disability by Social Security?
    How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
    How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
    Your Social Security Disability Status
    How do you find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?
    How to check Social Security Disability Status
    Applying for disability, what medical conditions can you apply for?
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    How much does disability pay?
    Can I get permanent Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How long will it take to get a disability decision letter?
    Social Security Disability and SSI Medical Exams
    How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
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