Disability Attorney Marketing Strategies

Can I Afford A Disability Attorney?

Can I Afford A Disability Attorney?

You might really need a disability attorney to help you with a claim filing, claim denial, or disability hearing, but you’re probably asking yourself THE question—can I afford it?

A disability attorney is paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney is paid a percentage of the benefit paid out in a claim. A lawyer will not charge you an up-front fee, nor will the firm require a retainer fee to work on your claim. Remember your lawyer only gets paid if he or she is successful with your case. That is what contingency means: it’s contingent on them winning it for you.

It’s important to hire someone who is board-certified in Social Security disability law, but it won’t cost you more than hiring any other attorney. So it’s a no-brainer—you get the expertise for the same cost.

Once the SSA approves your benefit, you’ll get back pay owed to you by the SSA, meaning they will pay you for the benefits owed during the appeal process. For an SSDI claim, back pay includes pay from the “onset date”, meaning the date you were approved to receive benefit. Retroactive benefits can’t go back any longer than a year.

You won’t have to pay your attorney fees directly out of your pocket. Instead, you’ll sign a standard agreement that authorizes the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay your attorney a fee directly if your claim is a success and you are awarded “back-pay” benefits. After you sign, the SSA reviews the agreement. There is a cap regarding the fee that can be paid to disability attorneys: a max percentage of 25% of the past-due benefits, or a maximum dollar amount of $6,000. Either way, the attorney fees typically are taken out of the first check you receive.

Although you don’t have to pay the attorneys’ fee, there are some costs you may need to pay. There are often fees for obtaining school and work records, and medical records, or copying and postage charges, and you’ll have to pay for these. They are separate from the fee. Note that your lawyer may order medical or psychological examination from an independent expert, and these tests can be very expensive. Attorneys sometimes estimate these fees up front, and ask you for a payment, while others just bill you later for all fees of this type, at the end of your claim process.

So, before hiring an attorney, ask whether you’ll be charged this fee up front or at the end. You can also ask the general fees for medical evaluation at another doctor so that you can better manage your budget. Call us today and we’ll walk you through it!

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