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

Do Social Security Disability and SSI Lawyers Require A Retainer? (Fees and costs)

Disability lawyers and disability representatives are not allowed to demand a retainer for their services. Disability attorneys or representatives receive one fourth of any back payment of benefits that are due the disability beneficiary or their dependents (spouse or children) up to the maximum fee amount allowable (see How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?).

If the maximum allowed fee is collected from the disabled beneficiary’s back payment, nothing will be taken from their dependents’ back pay. However, if the maximum fee amount was not collected from the disabled beneficiary’s back payment, then one fourth of their dependent’s back payment will be taken in an effort to pay the attorney or representative the maximum fee amount that is due to them per the fee agreement that was signed.

In addition to the maximum fee, disability lawyers or non-lawyer representatives are allowed to charge what are known as incidental fees. Incidental fees might include reimbursement for travel, copies, medical records, vocational or medical experts, phone charges, etc. and they are allowable if the disability applicant agreed to pay them when they signed their fee agreement with their representative.

Fee agreements are legally binding agreements between representatives and their clients that contain the agreed upon fee amount and incidental expenses. Some lawyers and Social Security non-attorney representatives ask that disability claimants pay incidental expenses whether they win or lose their disability case while others may ask that the expenses be paid only if they win their case. It just depends upon the disability lawyer or representative.

The important thing for disability claimants to remember is fee agreements are legally binding and that disability lawyers and representatives can demand payment for anything the disability applicant agreed to pay when they signed the their fee agreement. It goes without saying that if a disability applicant chooses to obtain the services of a paid representative, either an attorney or non-attorney, they should read their fee agreement carefully before signing.

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

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?
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
Social Security Disability, previous employers, and past job work performance

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