Can I Afford a Disability Attorney
Usually, your attorney will only be paid if you win your claim and his payment will be taken from your back pay.
Most applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are denied and require multiple appeals before the claim is approved. When you are represented by an attorney your chances of being approved are greatly increased. Usually, your attorney will only be paid if you win your claim and his payment will be taken from your back pay.
A disability attorney will receive 25% of your back pay as a fee for representing your case. Currently, in July 2009, this amount has a maximum cap of $6,000.
This fee structure is regulated by the Social Security Administration and applies to all attorneys who represent SSDI and SSI claims. For example, if you were disabled 18 months ago and you are just now being awarded SSDI benefits, Social Security will give you “back pay” for the money that you should have been receiving for the past year and your attorney will only receive 25% (a maximum of $6000) of that money as a one-time fee. The attorney will not take any fees from your future disability checks. If you do not win your case, your attorney will not get paid.
Most Social Security Disability Attorneys will give you a free consultation and will not charge any upfront fees. Some attorneys might charge you for out-of-pocket expenses like the costs involved in gathering medical records and some attorneys might charge you for their travel expenses.
Make sure that you ask questions and read your attorney’s fee agreement first before you sign it.
Many people decide to apply for disability without an attorney, but once their claim is denied (most claims are denied), then they will hire an attorney to handle the appeals process. If you decide to do this, make sure you contact an attorney as soon as your application is denied because you only have 60 days to appeal.
Statistically, the chances of you winning your disability claim are much higher when you are represented by an attorney. Representing yourself is a risk that you don’t want to take. Talk with an experienced disability attorney about your case and schedule a free consultation.
If you have been denied disability benefits, or if you are going to apply for disability benefits, talk with an experienced disability attorney. Click here for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney in the Southern California area (San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, etc…).