If you need to file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits or you received a denial of your application, you may be considering seeking the help of a qualified Orange County disability attorney. The good news for disabled individuals who need help with a claim for benefits is that attorney’s fees are governed by Federal law, and they are paid on a contingency fee basis. If an attorney is successful in helping you get benefits awarded, he or she gets paid. If your claim is eventually denied, he or she does not get paid.
How Contingency Fees Work
First, sitting down for a consultation with a disability lawyer is free. You have nothing to lose by calling a law firm and getting their opinion about your case. If you decide to hire a lawyer – and they agree to take your case – you will need to sign a contingency fee agreement. Make sure you ask any questions you have and get clarification, so you fully understand the details of the agreement before you sign. The SSA will also have to make sure the agreement meets its requirements.
The SSA limits an attorney’s fee to 25 percent of your past-due benefits, and the maximum fee is $6,000. The only time a fee may be higher is if your case ends up in federal court, which most do not. In addition, the attorney only gets this percentage if they successfully get your claim approved and if you are awarded back-dated benefits. If you receive a final denial or you are not entitled to any back pay, your lawyer does not receive any fees.
Discuss Your Case with a Disability Attorney
Because it generally does not cost anything to speak with or hire a disability lawyer, it is always worth it to schedule a free consultation. Once you are working with a lawyer, their payment will depend on how much past-due benefits you are awarded. In many cases, the lawyer’s fee does not even reach the $6,000 cap, and you will often still receive a good portion of back pay.