How much money does a social security disability attorney make?
Here's a recent question (paraphrased): "I was told that a disability attorney makes a certain amount and I couldn't believe it. How much does a disability attorney make?"
I think there are two ways to answer you question. The first concerns the average annual earnings of a disability representative, who could be an attorney or a non-attorney claimant's disability representative. And the answer to that question is this: it depends. On what does it depend? Well, basically on how many cases the representative handles annually. Some reps have a small caseload and some reps do 50 disability hearings per month.
Now, the second way to address this question is to cite how much a disability attorney or non-attorney claimant's representative gets paid per case.
A rep will receive one-quarter of a claimant's back pay as the fee for representation. So, obviously, they don't receive a fee if they don't win the case. However, the fee is capped to a certain maximum. For several years, the maximum fee that a rep could receive was $5300. That is changing in 2009 though and the maximum fee will be increased to $6000 per case in the middle of 2009.
Now, what many people don't realize is that the fee for representation is not the only cost involved in getting representation for a disability case. Many reps, perhaps most, will charge for various out-of-pocket expenses, such as reimbursement for the cost of gathering medical records. Other reps, of course, will even charge you for postage. And, if you are represented by an out-of-state rep you may be charged for travel expenses as well. In the end, if you are filing for disability, make sure you read your fee agreement first before signing it.
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