How much can a Social Security attorney take?
If you’ve suffered from a serious injury or long-term illness that has put you out of work, eventually you will have to start worrying about how to pay the bills without an income. Luckily, Social Security Disability benefits exist for just this purpose, but you will have to apply to get them. Applying can be done on your own, but many people choose to seek the assistance of an attorney.
Why should you work with an attorney?
Working with an attorney on your disability claim is not mandatory, but research shows that it significantly helps your chances of success. One survey found that disability applicants who hired an attorney to help with their claim at any point in the process were ultimately approved 60% of the time, versus only 34% for those who did not engage the services of a lawyer.
How do Social Security attorneys charge fees?
If you’re low on money due to your disability, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to be able to pay for a lawyer to help with your case. The good news is that Social Security disability attorneys do not get paid up front. Instead, they work on a contingency basis. This means that they get a portion of the money you are awarded as past-due benefits when you win your case. If you don’t win, the attorney does not get a fee, so you don’t have to worry about how to pay for your disability attorney.
When you hire a disability attorney, you will sign an agreement that gives your lawyer the right to a contingency fee, to be paid by the Social Security Administration from your award. There are limits on how much an attorney can take and what the agreement is legally allowed to say. The agreement you and your lawyer sign will be reviewed and will need to be approved by the Social Security Administration before your lawyer is paid.
How much will your Social Security attorney take?
Since your Social Security attorney will only be paid if you are awarded benefits, you can rest easy knowing that your lawyer will be highly motivated to give your case every chance of success. Obviously, the higher your award, the more your attorney (and you!) will be paid, so your disability attorney will work hard to make sure that the date your disability began, and therefore the date that you should have been entitled to start receiving benefits, is accurate so you don’t lose out on money you should have been awarded.
The amount that a Social Security disability attorney can legally take as a contingency fee is capped at 25% of the total back pay you are due, and no more than $6,000 total. This amount is not mandated; you and your lawyer may agree on less. A survey of disability applicants found that the average applicant ended up paying their attorney about $3,750, which is significantly less than the $6,000 maximum.
If you have a disability or chronic illness and are thinking about applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, you should seriously consider getting the help of a disability attorney. An attorney gives you nearly double the chance of being approved for disability, and it comes at no risk to you, since the attorney will only be paid if you are.
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