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

The Social Security Disability process allows individuals who are filing for disability to hire an attorney or a non-attorney representative to represent their case. Attorneys or non-attorneys represent disability cases for a fee amount. The fee is regulated by SSA and is one-fourth of any back payment the claimant has received, up to a certain maximum (to see the current max: What is the maximum fee that a disability attorney can be paid?).

When a disability claimant signs the fee agreement with an attorney or representative they are signing a legally binding contract in which they agree to pay the attorney or representative the agreed upon fee and any incidental expenses outlined in the fee agreement.

Incidental expenses could include but are not limited to medical records, vocational experts, phone calls, travel, copying, etc. Some attorneys and representatives ask that the expenses be paid whether an individual wins or loses the claim while others collect only if they win the disability claim.

Usually, the cost of getting medical records is always an expected expense. Attorneys or representatives require the claimant to pay for the cost of medical records, or they ask for repayment of medical records cost once a decision has been made.

A fee agreement could contain just about any agreed upon expense and as long as both the attorney and disability claimant sign the agreement, it is valid. That is why it is so important for disability claimants to read their fee agreement carefully before signing it. If a disability claimant has difficulty reading and comprehending, they should take it to someone who can read and understand so they know what they are agreeing to pay the representative or attorney.

Social Security allows attorneys and representatives to collect a fee and allowable incidental fees to encourage them to represent disability claimants who often have no money or very little money. Most disability claimants could not afford representative if they had to pay a retainer or a regular hourly legal fee to an attorney or representative.

Naturally, this would greatly disadvantage disability claimants who were not able to keep up with their paperwork, or those who have to attend an administrative law judge disability hearing.

Most disability claimants need to have someone who is familiar with the Social Security medical and vocational guidelines represent them before an administrative law judge. Although there is no rule that states a disability claimant has to have an attorney or a non-attorney representative for their disability claim, Social Security provides disability claimants an opportunity to have legal representation.

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.

Questions and Answers

1. Your Medical Condition and Social Security Disability or SSI

2. How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability?

2a. Can you appeal a disability denial in New York after the deadline?

4. How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits

5. How do you find out if a Social Security Disability claim has been approved or denied?

6. Is qualifying for SSI different than SSD?

7. An SSI case for disability-who is eligible?

8. Social Security Disability and assets

9. Social Security Denial Letter

10. Social Security Disability Medical Review

11. Social Security Disability Approval

12. Social Security Disability Health Coverage

13. Are you allowed to work at all if you get Social Security Disability or SSI?

14. Advice for a Social Security Disability Continuing Review

15. Can I lose my disability benefits at some point?

16. How often does someone get disability approved in just a few months?

17. Can you get a disability decision in under a month?

18. Can my child receive disability for asthma?

19. Will you be notified if you receive an Approval for Social Security Disability or SSI

20. How often does someone get disability approved in just a few months?

21. If a reconsideration is denied for Social Security Disability or SSI

22. When do you receive a Hearing for Disability?

23. How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?

24. How do you get Disability Approved when you file with Social Security?

26. What does a disability lawyer in Pennsylvania do to help a claim?

27. Who makes the Determination of a Social Security Disability Claim?

28. How can you speed up Social Security Disability?

29. What if I go to a Social Security hearing without an Attorney or a Disability Representative?

30. Disability Lawyers, Medical Records, and Social Security Hearings - Should you go to a Hearing alone?

31. Can you be denied for disability even if your doctor recommends that you be approved?

32. How to get Approved for Disability on the Basis of a Back Condition

33. Can I Receive Disability Benefits with Back problems?

34. How does Social Security Disability Decide if you can Work or Not?

35. Social Security Disability, SSI, and Whether or Not a Person can Still Work

36. How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal Under SSDI or SSI is Made

37. Can you be denied for SSDI or SSI disability if social security cannot find your medical records?

38. What happens if the Social Security Disability examiner cannot find all the needed medical records?

39. Why is it Taking so Long to get a Court Date with the ALJ, the Social Security Disability Judge?

40. What Forms will I need to Complete when I apply for disability?

41. Can You File For Social Security Disability Or SSI Based On A Mental Disorder Or Illness?

42. Can Social Security Turn You Down If You Can Do Your Past Work?

43. Who Do I Contact To File For Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration?

44. Can Social Security Disability Benefits Be Awarded Quickly?

45. What If You Did Not Work Long Enough To Qualify For Disability?

46. How Long Do I Get To Keep My Social Security Disability Benefits?

47. After a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending

48. Dire Need and Getting a Social Security Disability or SSI Case Speeded Up

49. What tools are used by a Social Security Disability Examiner to Make a Claim Decision?

50. Who Makes the Decision at the Social Security Disability, SSI Hearing Level?

51. Recent Medical Records for a Social Security Disability or SSI case

52. Can a Disability Examiner or Judge make a Social Security Approval with Old Medical Records?

53. How Important is the Treating Physician to a Social Security Disability or SSI case?

54. Why does Representation increase the win ratio at a Social Security Disability or SSI Hearing?

55. How does a Medical Source Statement (RFC Form) help win a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?

56. Should you get a Non-Attorney Disability Representative for a Social Security or SSI case?

57. What if you Move out of State after you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?

58. Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?

59. Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I'm approved for disability benefits?

60. Is there a Maximum I can Work and Make if I am on SSD or SSI Disability Benefits?

61. Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?

62. What Happens When You File a Social Security Disability Application?

63. If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?

64. If I Apply For Disability And Go Back To Work, Do I Need To Report This?

65. Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability If You Do Not Take Medication Or Go To a Doctor?

66. Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?

67. Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other

68. Proving a Social Security Disability Case Often Means Getting a Statement from Your Doctor

69. How much does Disability Pay?

70. What are Social Security Disability and SSI Concurrent Benefits?