Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?

As Social Security Disability and SSI claims are based in administrative law, a representative may be a disability lawyer or a Non-attorney disability representative. Very often, a non-attorney representative will be an individual who was formerly a claims representative working at a Social Security field office, or a disability examiner who made decisions on disability applications or reconsideration appeals, such as the author of, Tim Moore.

The Social Security Disability and SSI disability fee payment system is federally regulated. A disability lawyer or non-attorney disability representative in the state of California is paid with two considerations in mind:

1) To be paid a fee, the case must be won. If the case is not won, there is no fee payable to the attorney or representative.

2) The fee that is received by the attorney or non-attorney representative in California is equal to one-fourth of whatever amount of backpay that the claimant is found eligible to receive. For example, if the claimant is found to be owed $20,000 as a backpayment, the representative would receive $5000. However, the very most that a disability lawyer or representative can be paid as a fee for representation is $6000. This is the current maximum.

The fact that the representation fee is only paid after a Social Security Disability or SSI disability case is won is a clear benefit to claimants since it allows the majority of claimants to find representation without the worry of having to pay an upfront fee.

An additional benefit of the SSA fee payment system is that the Social Security Administration will also take care of handling the fee payment itself by A) doing the calculations for whatever fee is owed to the disability representative or disability attorney and B) sending the fee payment to the claimant's representative.

Is there any other kind of cost associated with getting a disability lawyer? Usually, there are additional costs, though these tend to be minimal. For example, an attorney or representative will generally charge for the cost of getting medical records. This is not a charge per se, but reimbursement since few if any clinics, doctor's offices, or hospitals will provide records without a copying charge.

On this note, it should be said that some attorneys and lawfirms will charge you upfront for whatever costs they incur for obtaining medical records or statements from physicians (not all doctors will charge for providing a statement on their patient but some will), whereas others will pay these costs as the case develops and then only ask for reimbursement when the case is finally concluded.

All costs in relation to a disability claim will be indicated on the fee agreement that a claimant signs when they choose someone to represent their claim. All fee agreements must be approved by SSA and for this reason disability representatives and lawyers tend to charge for the same incidental expenses in addition to the representation fee.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Filing for disability in California

    How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California

    How long should you wait before you apply for disability?

    SSD and SSI applications in California

    What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?

    Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?

    Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?

    How long does a disability case take in California

    After you file for disability in California

    Filing for disability in California and your condition

    Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process

    The California disability process

    Do I need to be disabled a year in California to get disability?

    The Social Security Disability process in California

    California Disability determination process

    Disability approval criteria in California

    California Social Security Disability decisions

    Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California

    Questions about disability in California

    How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?

    California Social Security Back Pay

    Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?

    Disability two year medicare waiting period in California

    California review of Social Security Disability claim

    California Social Security Disability status

    VA disability and California Social Security Disability

    Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case

    How do examiners make disability decisions in California?

    Applying for disability benefits in California

    How long does disability take in California?

    How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?

    Why do disability claims take so long in California?

    How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?

    Disability claims in California with certain conditions

    Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California

    Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California

    Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California

    Winning California disability

    Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?

    Getting approved for disability in California

    Winning disability in California

    California Disability Lawyers and Representation

    Getting a disability attorney in California

    Finding a new disability attorney in California

    Applying for SSI in California

    Filing for SSI disability in California

    SSI disability denied in California

    Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?

    How to apply for SSI Disability in California

    Doctors, medical records, and medical exams

    Doctors and applying for disability in California

    Can you be turned down for disability in California if your doctor says you are disabled?

    Disability hearings in California

    Disability Hearings in California

    California quick disability hearing

    How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing in California?

    How long does it take to get a disability hearing in California?

    Disability denials in California

    Disability Denied in California

    If a disability claim is denied in California

    Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California

    If you get denied Social Security Disability in California

    Why are Most Disability Cases Denied in California?

    Getting approved or denied for disability in California

    Disability appeals in California

    How do you file a disability appeal in California?

    How many disability appeals do you get in California?

    If your California disability appeal is denied, can you get another appeal?

    If your disability reconsideration is denied in California

    Filing a reconsideration appeal in California

    Why was I denied disability in California?

    Qualifying for disability in California

    Qualifying for disability in California

    Qualify for SSD in California

    Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?

    Disability lawyers in California

    Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California

    Cost of a California disability attorney

    Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?

    Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California

    Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California

    How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?

    Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?

    Lawyer for a disability hearing in California

    Why was I denied disability in California?