What Is the Cost of Hiring Social Security Disability Lawyers?
You may have been wondering if it’s worth hiring one of the disability lawyers in Boise to help you apply for Social Security benefits. But what could be holding you back is the fact that you probably don’t have any money to pay them. If you haven’t called a lawyer to help you with your benefit application for fear of the costs, then it’s time to explore how Social Security disability lawyers get paid.
You Will Pay Contingency Fees
Believe it or not, but the Social Security Administration has provided for your ability to hire a lawyer. Before your lawyer gets to work on your benefit application, you will be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement. This means your lawyer gets paid on a contingency basis.
What Does that Mean?
When your lawyer gets paid on a contingency basis, that means he or she only gets compensated if you win your claim. If the SSA denies your claim, then your lawyer doesn’t get paid. Generally, this means you don’t have to spend any money out of pocket to pay your attorney. In essence, the attorney is responsible for earning his own fees.
Attorney Fees Are Capped
The Social Security Administration issues guidelines for attorney fees. The SSA actually reviews your agreement with your disability lawyer in Idaho Falls to ensure it meets guidelines. For Social Security disability lawyers, the fees are limited to 25% of your disability back pay. The fee is also capped at $6,000.
Disability back pay can be received for up to 12 months in the past. You can receive back pay from the time you were eligible for benefits to the time your benefits are awarded. Since there’s a time limit to receiving back pay, you shouldn’t wait too long to talk to an attorney about your application.
What If There’s No Back Pay?
Now you know how your attorney gets paid when you receive Social Security disability back pay. But what happens if you don’t qualify for back pay? Will your attorney still get paid?
Yes, your attorney can still receive monetary compensation. After all, she worked on your case and got you Social Security benefits. If you don’t qualify for back pay but only current pay, then your attorney can submit a fee petition to the Social Security Administration for higher fees.
But you don’t have to worry. If the Social Security Administration approves the attorney’s petition, then you still don’t have to pay them out of your own pocket. Instead, the attorney fees will be deducted from your current monthly disability benefits.
Who Pays Out-of-Pocket Costs?
Attorneys generally have to pay for a variety of expenses to file your claim with the Social Security Administration. These expenses may include copies of medical records, postage, or medical and psychological examinations. Generally, these out-of-pocket costs are relatively low.
Some attorneys will ask their clients to pay these costs upfront before filing the claim. Other attorneys pay the fees out of their own pockets and bill you, the client, later. Out-of-pocket costs are the ones you are most likely concerned about when you hire a lawyer. So you’ll want to get clarification on how these are handled before you let the attorney take on your case.