You have likely seen the advertisements on T.V. that assures listeners that you won't be charged a fee unless you win your case with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This might leave you wondering if the attorney works with no pay, but in reality the SSA has strict rules in place that govern how the lawyers are paid on the these "contingency fee" cases. If you are thinking about hiring a Social Security attorney to help you get your claim approved, read below to gain a better understanding of how your attorney gets paid for their services.
Do You Need An Attorney?
Many people get turned down on their initial application for Social Security benefits. Your next step is to appeal the denial, but this process can be stressful and comes with strict filing deadlines. It's only natural to seek assistance at this point, so you may consider utilizing an attorney. Since you may be in a vulnerable position, the SSA has put in place special guidelines to assist claimants in their dealings with contingency fee attorneys when attempting to be awarded their benefits and back pay.
How Contingency Fee Contracts Work
If you are seeking compensation from the SSA for being too sick or injured to work, you likely have very little money available to pay an attorney to help you. The SSA must approve any attorney-client fee agreements, based on their rules. Once your attorney advises you that your claim is worth pursuing, you will come to an agreement on fees and sign a contract.
The SSA stipulates that you only have to pay your attorney a fee if you win your case, and limits the total amount the attorney can charge to a cap of no more than 25% of your back pay owed or $6,000.00. For instance, if you are owed $10,000.00 in back pay, the attorney would receive $2,500.00 of that amount. There are special cases where the attorney is allowed to collect more than the $6,000.00, however.
Paying for your attorney's work time on your case can be expensive, so the benefit of having a cap on the percentage charged should be obvious. Your fee agreement should be read carefully, however, since the SSA allows your attorney to charge you for miscellaneous other fees, like printing, copying and mailing costs. It's vital that you understand these extra fees, since you will have to pay them even if you lose your case. Most attorneys will send you an itemized bill after your case is complete.
Using these guidelines will enable you to increase your chances for successfully getting your claim approved, so contact a Social Security attorney--like one from Duncan Disability Law SC--as soon as possible to get the compensation you have earned, need and deserve.Share