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

The Cost and Expenses of a Disability Attorney or a Disability Representative

When a claimant obtains representation by a disability attorney or a non-attorney representative, they sign two very important forms provided by the representative, which are mailed to SSA (social security administration).

The first form is an appointment of representative form, otherwise known as a form SSA-1696. This form, as one might think, states who will be representing the disability claim. It also effectively puts the social security administration to:

A) Include the non-attorney representative or disability lawyer when sending out notices to the claimant (so that both the claimant and the representative both receive copies of all notices, requests for information, and appointments)

and also

B) To ask the representative's permission before attempting to directly contact the claimant (this is done to protect the claimant).

The second form that is signed when a person is establishing a relationship with a disability representative is a fee agreement. This form will also be mailed to SSA, but it must be approved by social security before it becomes binding on the claimant.

Note: because all disability attorneys and non-attorney representatives are aware of the fact that the fee agreement must be approved, fee agreements tend to use the same language and they all tend to look very much alike...making it even more important, of course, for an individual to carefully read their fee agreement before signing it so that they can become fully aware of what it stipulates.

What does the fee agreement do? It sets forth on paper just how the representative (attorney or otherwise) will be compensated for providing representation on the claim. What are the costs for being represented on a Social Security Disability claim, or being represented on an SSI claim?

There are two types of costs: the actual fee for representation and incidental expenses. The fee itself is non-negotiable and that is because it is regulated by the social security administration and by Congress. The fee for representation is only paid by a claimant in the event that their case is won. It is paid, in most cases, directly to the representative by the social security administration.

How is the amount determined? The fee is equal to 1/4 of the claimant's social security back pay, payable up to a maximum limit which is currently set at $6000.

So, if a claimant receives one thousand dollars in disability back pay, the representative would receive $250 in back pay, as this would be one-fourth of the back pay. If a claimant receives $24,000 in back pay, the representative would receive the maximum fee of $6000, which would be the maximum.

However, if the claimant received any amount of back pay higher than $24,000 then the representative could still only receive $6000 as this is the absolute maximum fee that a disability attorney or non-attorney can receive in compensation for their services.

The second type of cost that may be owed to a representative by a claimant whose case has been won is incidental expenses. Usually, this includes the cost of obtaining medical records and statements from your doctor or doctors, both of which are types of evidence that are used to support the case.

However, some representatives charge for other expenses, such as for the cost of postage or for travel expenses to a hearing location. For this reason, before signing with any representative should always read their fee agreement carefully before signing.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

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?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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
If you meet a Social Security Disability listing, can a judge deny your claim?
The regulation for SSDI Retroactive Benefits?
If you apply for disability in Tennessee

Will I qualify for disability Benefits Tennessee?

Getting a Disability Lawyer in Tennessee

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

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.