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. How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability?

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

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

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

8. Social Security Denial Letter

10. Social Security Disability Approval

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

32. Can I Receive Disability Benefits with Back problems?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

68. How much does Disability Pay?

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Social Security Disability Resource Center

The Social Security Disability Resource Center explains how to win your disability benefits and avoid mistakes that are time-consuming and costly. Published by former disability examiner Tim Moore, SSDRC helps to understand how to file a successful disability claim. is not the Social Security Administration and is not associated or affiliated with SSA. It is published by Tim Moore, an Accredited Disability Representative and a former DDS Claims Examiner in North Carolina. DDS, or Disability Determination Services, is the state-level agency that makes decisions on SSD and SSI claims for the Social Security Administration. Tim Moore represents claims at the application, reconsideration appeal, disability hearing, and appeals council levels in primarily the Raleigh, Durham, Garner, Wake Forest, Henderson, Oxford, Butner, Creedmoor, Warrenton, and Louisburg areas. He also takes NC claims in Cary, Rolesville, Knightdale, Clayton, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Wendell, Zebulon, and Holly Springs. To learn more about the author: Tim Moore.