Hiring a Social Security Disability attorney who is familiar with the complexities of these cases is often a critical component of being awarded benefits. Social Security Disability attorneys are knowledgeable about the standard that must be met in order for a claimant to be considered disabled, as well as the evidence necessary to establish this standard. However, claimants for Social Security Disability may be deterred from filing for disability benefits because they are afraid that they cannot afford attorney’s fees to bring forth their claim.
The Social Security Administration has implemented policies that allow claimants to pursue these benefits even if they do not have the funds to pay an attorney upfront.
Social Security disability lawyers take claims on a contingency. Their payment is contingent on the claimant being awarded benefits. If the claim is denied, the attorney does not get paid. This arrangement allows claimants to pursue their claim without being deterred by expensive fees.
Additionally, claimants do not need to pay for any attorney’s fees upfront. The Social Security Administration has established rules that allow for attorneys to receive payment for their services on the lump-sum payment of past-due benefits that claimants receive if they are approved for benefits. The amount of backpay is based on the onset date of eligibility. If a claimant is approved for benefits but does not receive backpay, the attorney does not get paid.
Amount of attorney’s fees
The amount of attorney’s fees that a claimant pays is based on federal law. According to this law, attorneys can only charge up to 25 percent of the backpay, up to a maximum of $6,000. Therefore, if a claimant received backpay benefits of $10,000, he or she would owe the attorney $2,500 in attorney’s fees. However, if the claimant received $30,000 in backpay benefits, 25 percent of this amount is $7,500 but the attorney would only be eligible to receive up to $6,000 for his or her services. This is the general rule, but there are exceptions when an attorney can receive more than this amount.
The Social Security Administration puts an additional safeguard in place to prevent attorneys from overcharging claimants for more fees than they are entitled to receive under the law. They evaluate the legal services agreement between the attorney and claimant to ensure that the attorney’s fee schedule complies with the law. Then, these fees can be directly withheld from the backpay.
Social Security disability claimants may incur additional expenses, such as:
- Record request fees
- Ordering employment records
- Expert witness fees
- Long distance calls
The retainer agreement may explain how these costs are to be allocated and paid.
Contact leading Florida Social Security Disability lawyer today for skilled guidance with your claim
Florida Social Security disability attorney Joseph Rooth has successfully helped hundreds of claimants through the Social Security disability process. With more than 20 years experience, attorney Rooth puts his knowledge of complex Social Security law to use on every case. He assists clients with every step of the process, from the initial application and all aspects of the appeal process if applicable. Schedule a confidential, complimentary consultation by calling 727-849-3400 or contact us online.