How much does a Social Security Disability attorney get paid?

The fee for representation on a Social Security Disability or SSI disability case is regulated by the Social Security Administration and by Congress. Therefore, there is no negotiation as to how much the maximum fee can be.

All Social Security representatives, including disability attorneys and non-attorney disability representatives, are entitled to receive 25 percent of a claimant's back payment for a case that they win. However, there is a maximum amount that the fee can reach. Currently, that maximum is set at $6000.00

The representation fee paid to a disability attorney or representative is only paid in the event that a case is won. Fortunately, this means that there is no issue of affordability when it comes to seeking representation. As the fee is only paid after a case has been won, there are basically no initial costs. This is very different from other types of cases in which significant upfront retainers are often charged.

Are there other expenses that may be charged by a social security attorney or representative? Yes, aside from the actual representation fee which is regulated, attorneys and representatives can charge for a wide variety of "incidental expenses", even including postage for mailing documents. Most, though, will only charge to be reimbursed for the cost of gathering updated medical records.

When you choose a representative, you will be asked to sign a SSA-1696 form which will designate that individual as your chosen representative. You will also be asked to sign several medical release forms and a fee agreement.

The ability of an attorney or representative to charge for any other expenses must be specifically indicated in the fee agreement. Therefore, you should read your fee agreement thoroughly so that you will be aware of any other additional charges that might be incurred.

The following page addresses this same topic with a bit of additional information:

The Social Security Disability Representation Fee and What a Lawyer is Paid

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.

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