At the outset of a Security Disability Claim, there are fees incurred to get legal representation from an attorney. If you have a lawyer ready to represent your claims, better for you. But in these sort of cases, it’s important first to understand how attorney fees will be paid before you go fishing for one. Most people have fallen victim of dubious disability lawyers who charge upfront fees, which is outrightly unethical in law practice. So, you need to get the exact costs or other related expenses attached to your case. In SSD, you aren’t expected to pay the attorney fee as it’s often paid if they win the case. This fee is referred as a contingency fee. When you apply for SSD or SSI, you’ll sign an agreement fee that allows the Social Security Administration to pay your attorney the stipulated amount. This is in line with the fee agreement guidelines.
According to the SSA data, it administered disability benefits for 64.2 million people in 2014, and this figure is expected to double in years to come. This means that for every approved claim by the SSA, an attorney gets paid. But how is this fee computed in the first place? Almost all disability attorneys are paid from a client’s past due benefits. Meaning, if no backdated benefits are granted, the attorney is not eligible for a fee. However, there are provisions for a lawyer to submit a fee petition even if the disability claim is denied. Generally, the SSA is responsible for the entire lawyer’s fee, which is around $6,000 or 25% of your backpay from your first disability check.
Disability claims cases are often lengthy. From the period SSA determines your claim to the date it gets approved, some benefits accrue along the way and you are entitled to them. In case you aren’t satisfied with the awarded benefits, find a good attorney who’ll initiate an appeal process and negotiate for more in back pay.
Other than the contingency fee, which you don’t pay, are there other costs involved?
Just because you don’t cater for attorney’s fee, doesn’t mean you won’t spend. Depending on the nature of your case, some attorneys will impose certain records to file a claim. Getting some of these records can be expensive and so the client has to pay for these costs. Other hidden costs may include postage and documenting charges. In other cases, attorneys will cater for these costs for their clients. Later, the attorney will request for compensation from the client. Whether you win or lose your claim, you’ll have to honor the lawyer’s invoice. Otherwise, these costs will usually be less than few hundred dollars.