Social Security Disability Attorney Fee - What a Disability Lawyer can be Paid
The question of how much a disability attorney will charge, or can be paid, recently came up in someone's comments.
This amount has changed quite a bit over the past few, well, decade. The maximum fee for representation in 2000 was $4000, was changed a few years ago to $5300, and is now $6000.
What does the fee really mean? This is how much your disability attorney or non-attorney representative may charge for providing representation on your social security disability or SSI disability claim. The fee is not paid upfront, and is not a retainer. In concept, it is closer to something paid on contingency.
However, the simplest way to put it is this: if your case is won and you are represented, your disability representative is entitled to 25% of your back pay, up to a maximum of $6000.
So, if your case is won and your total back pay is $2000, your rep will receive $500 as the fee. If your total back pay is $24,000, your rep will receive a full fee of $6,000. If your total back pay is $ $30,000, your rep will still only receive the maximum fee of $6000.
Points about the fee:
1. The fee is for representation only.
2. The fee is payable only if the case is won.
3. The fee is regulated by the social security administration, not the representative you sign with.
4. The fee agreement you sign with your disability lawyer or non-attorney claimant's representative will probably include other charges that will be payable whether your case is won or lost. Be sure to read your fee agreement before signing it.
1. If you switch attorneys at some point, will you have to pay a double fee? No.
2. If you switch attorneys at some point, will the new attorney and the old attorney fight over the fee? Well, the fee may be in dispute, particularly if the first attorney is of the opinion that a considerable amount of work was done on your case before you switched to someone new, as in switching right before the hearing is held.
3. Is the fee unreasonably large? It depends on your mindset. Individuals who go to disability hearings unrepresented have, according to one set of govt issued statistics, about a fifty percent lower chance of winning their claim. That being the case, the fee does not seem onerous. And there are plenty of individuals who sought to save money by going to a hearing alone and ended up losing a claim because they had no clue how to prepare for their hearing
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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