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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

Does the fee for a disability lawyer fee have a cap?



 
The lawyer I am considering hiring wants me to pay 21% of back-pay with no cap if I win at any step after my case has been to the appeals council for the first time (i.e., if I win in federal court , or I win at any time after a federal court or appeals council remand.)

Furthermore, the contract does not limit my attorney's right to file a fee petition if there are no back benefits payable. Is this normal?




For those who are unaware, I will point out that a disability attorney or non-attorney representative is paid by receiving a percentage of a claimant's back pay. So there is no fee payable to a representative unless the case is won which is beneficial to disability claimants because it makes it easier to obtain representation as they do not have pay anything upfront to get assistance on a claim.

That percentage is currently 25 percent of whatever back pay the claimant receives. However, it cannot exceed a certain maximum. That maximum has changed several times over the last twenty years and the following pages provide the current amount and other relevant information:

How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?

What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?

Now, to answer your question:

In reading the SSA regulations, it appears that this may very well be normal. You do not have to take your claim to Federal Court, you could file a new disability claim and go through the process again. The protected maximum on a fee agreement appears to end at the Appeal Council. Go to Google and search the reference below.

GN 03920.060 Attorneys’ Fees for Representation in Proceedings Before a Court

Hope this helps you.








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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

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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.