Why anyone can afford to be represented on a disability claim
It occurred to me at one point (and it has reoccurred to me many times since then) that, in the U.S., one's ability to seek and derive justice, and one's treatment in the justice system itself, may be mediated by one's finance's, i.e. ability to pay upfront. Getting assistance on a traffic case is one example of this phenomenon. If you have the cash (and depending on the infraction and the state of your driving record, you may need considerably more cash), you can get an attorney and possibly walk away with a mild slap on the wrist. If you don't have the cash...hello points.
Fortunately, the Social Security Disability and ssi disability system doesn't work this way. Representatives who handle disability claims (attorneys and non attorney representatives alike) are paid a fee that is equal to one-quarter of a claimant's backpay. And the total fee has a cap (the cap is $6000). Translation: what you pay to a disability lawyer or non attorney rep:
1. has nothing to do with your ongoing monthly benefits if you get approved.
2. only comes out of whatever backpay that the social security administration owes you, assuming you get approved.
3. can never exceed a defined maximum regardless of how much backpay that SSA owes you.
and most importantly----
4. is only paid if and when a case is won.
Number 4 on this list is the reason why anyone can be represented on a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim. A claimant does not have to fork over a huge amount of cash to find help and assistance on a disability claim.
Why do I bring this up? Because, unfortunately, some individuals will actually put off trying to find representation based solely on the assumption that they can't afford to hire a representative. And the truth is 180 degrees removed from this assumption. ANYONE can afford to hire someone for their SSD (Social Security Disability) or SSI disability claim.
And thank goodness the system is this way. Because disability claimants already have quite a bit to contend with, generally including an inability at some point to meet their financial obligations (mortgage and utilities), an inability to get proper medical treatment (because of health insurance running out), and an inability to get prescriptions filled (perhaps the most awful aspect of having to wait so long on a claim).
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.
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability in North Carolina
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
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?
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Expectations for your disability lawyer
Disability lawyers with high success rates
Can I earn more and get Social Security Disability?
Men most affected by prostate cancer, women by breast cancer
Liver disease includes many different conditions
Food intolerance, leaky gut, and autoimmune disorders
How to file for disability in Illinois
Can you get disability for OCD?
Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?
Disability Determination After Seeing a Psychologist at a Mental Evaluation
If you get Social Security Disability benefits do you get Medicare or Medicaid?
How long to get a Social Security decision letter?
How to file for disability in New York
Social Security medical disability determination process
How to file for disability in Arizona
Kidney Disease and Filing for Disability
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security Disability benefits?