Having an attorney help you with your Social Security disability case can significantly increase the odds you'll get approved for benefits. If you're hesitating hiring one because you're afraid you can't afford his or her fees, the good news is that most lawyers work these types of cases on a contingency basis, so you may not have to pay anything upfront. Here's more information about how this works.
The Attorney is Paid from Your Benefits
A Social Security disability lawyer will typically have you sign a fee agreement and submit it to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This agreement accomplishes a couple of things. First, it authorizes the SSA to pay the attorney from your benefits. Second, it details the maximum amount of money you will have to pay for the lawyer's services and when that payment is due.
The SSA limits the attorney's fees to 25 percent of any past-due payments you may be awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. Additionally, the SSA will deduct the amount from your check to pay the attorney and send the balance to you. For instance, if you are owed $5,000 in back benefits, your attorney would receive a check for $1,250 and you would receive one for $3,750.
It's important to note that the attorney will only be paid if the SSA makes a decision in your favor and awards you back benefits. If you don't win your case or you are not entitled to past-due monies, you won't have to pay the attorney's fees. While this keeps you from paying a lot of money upfront, be aware that a lawyer may be reluctant to take your case if it doesn't appear you are not eligible for retroactive benefits.
Some Minor Upfront Fees May Still Apply
The fee agreement you sign only applies to the lawyer's fee to represent you. It doesn't cover other costs the attorney may incur during the court of handling your case, such as copies, postage, and record fees. As such, the attorney may require you to pay some or all of these fees either upfront or as they are acquired.
The cost of administrative work (e.g. copies, phone calls, etc.) shouldn't be more than a couple of hundred dollars. However, testimony from expert witnesses, examinations from healthcare providers, and similar services can cost thousands of dollars. It's important to speak to the attorney about the likelihood that these will be needed and make the appropriate arrangements to get the money for them.
For more information about attorney's fees and other costs you may encounter when litigating a Social Security disability case, contact a lawyer, like one from Goldberg Michael Atty At Law.Share
26 December 2017