The Ins and Outs of How Social Security Attorney Fees Work

Serious long-term illnesses and disabilities can prevent individuals from working and receiving a regular paycheck. When that happens, bills can mount up quickly, and other significant complications can arise for individuals who are suffering from a long-term disability. In some instances, individuals who suffer from a long-term illness or injury may be eligible to receive disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits can provide some regular income, helping these individuals get back on their feet and pay their bills on time.

When it comes to obtaining social security disability benefits, it is important to have an experienced social security disability attorney by your side throughout the process. An experienced lawyer could make a claim on your behalf and help you assemble the necessary documentation to submit with your claim.

How are Disability Attorneys Paid?

Attorneys who practice disability law are paid legal fees on a contingency fee basis. This means that disability attorneys do not charge an upfront fee. Instead, these attorneys are able to collect a fee once the client wins his or her disability claim. Even in that instance, a disability attorney is typically entitled to recover a percentage of past-due benefits or back benefits that an individual recovers from the Social Security Administration.

Disability Attorney Contingency Fee Agreements

Whenever you decide to hire a disability attorney to assist you with your case, the attorney will have you sign a contingency fee agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, the Social Security Administration is permitted to pay your lawyer for the services that he or she provides, in the event that you recover disability benefits. Moreover, before the Social Security Administration allows your attorney to recover his or her legal fees, it will review the entire contingency fee agreement in order to make sure that all regulations and rules have been adhered to.

Specifically, under Social Security Administration rules, there are limits on the legal fees that an attorney may charge for his or her legal services. This limit is 25 percent, up to a maximum of $6,000, in any back benefits that the disability applicant is entitled to receive when his or her disability is approved. In some instances, the disability attorney may be eligible to request a higher fee. However, there has to be a significant legal justification for that to occur. This occurs only when there are successful appeals after an Administrative Law Judge issues an Unfavorable Decision denying Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

An experienced disability attorney in your area can answer all of your legal questions and concerns pertaining to attorney fees and contingency fee agreements as they relate to your social security disability claim.