Social Security Disability attorneys and advocates work on contingency basis, Get paid only if you win your case, 25% of past due benefits, Maximum of $6,000


From NOLO Disability Secrets.

“How Much Will a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Advocate Charge in Attorney Fees?

Social Security Disability attorneys and advocates work “on contingency,” meaning they get paid only if you win your case.”

“Unlike many attorneys, disability lawyers do not charge up-front fees or require a retainer to work on a Social Security disability case. Most disability attorneys and advocates will be paid a fee only if they win the case (this is called a contingency fee.) Here’s how it works.

Contingency Fee Agreement

When you first hire a disability attorney or advocate, whether you are filing for SSDI or SSI, you must sign a fee agreement that allows the SSA to pay your attorney if your claim is approved. The SSA will review the agreement to make sure it meets the fee agreement guidelines. This is to ensure that your attorney receives only what he or she is entitled to.

Fee agreements must be on a contingency basis (meaning the attorney will only be paid if you win your disability claim).

How Much Is the Attorney’s Fee?

For Social Security disability lawyers, the fee is limited to 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. Note that the attorney will be paid only out of your past-due benefits, or “backpay.” If no back-dated benefits are awarded, the attorney will not receive a fee. However, in this situation and a few others, the lawyer is allowed to submit a fee petition to Social Security to request a higher fee.

It doesn’t usually cost you anything to hire a disability attorney; the fee will be paid out of the disability award you eventually receive. Some attorneys, however, will ask you to pay a nominal amount for costs (see below) at the beginning of your case.

When do you have to pay the attorney’s fee? Usually, you don’t. The SSA takes the entire lawyer’s fee (up to $6,000) from your first disability check (your award of backpay), before the agency sends it to you.”

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