When you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you are more likely to get your application approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are represented by an attorney. However, you may be concerned that you cannot afford to pay a lawyer when you are not working because of your disabilities. Here’s why you do not need to be worried about this.
How Lawyers Charge Their Fees in Social Security Cases
Social Security disability attorneys charge their attorney fees on a contingency fee basis. Under this type of agreement, you would not owe any up-front attorney fees. Here’s how payment of the fees works:
- You would only owe attorney fees if you win your case. If you do not receive SSDI benefits, you would owe no attorney fees.
- Your lawyer cannot charge you more than 25% of your back pay or $7,200, whichever is less.
- Your attorney will be paid their attorney fees out of your back pay award before you receive your payment.
Retainer Agreements in SSDI Cases
Your lawyer must enter into a written retainer agreement with you, stating how much you will be charged. They must also file a petition with the SSA to obtain approval of the fee agreement. Once the SSA approves it, they will pay the attorney fees directly out of the backpay award.
How Costs Are Charged in Social Security Disability Insurance Cases
In addition to the attorney fees you will owe, you must also pay the costs associated with your case. These costs can include copying costs for your medical records and reports from your physicians.
Some lawyers will require you to pay these extra costs as they are incurred while others will pay them and get reimbursed when they are paid their attorney fees. Your retainer agreement should spell out how you must pay these costs.
Experience Matters When Selecting Your Attorney
While the attorney fees you will owe is a consideration when hiring a lawyer, it should not be the only factor you consider. You need an experienced Social Security disability lawyer who has a track record of success if you want to win your case.
Are you applying for SSDI benefits? Do you need to file an appeal? Call our Roswell office to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.