Although there are many differences between Social Security Disability attorneys, their fee agreements are almost always the same or quite similar. The reason for this is that fee agreements between attorneys and Social Security Disability claimants are regulated by law, and a copy of the fee agreement must be submitted to Social Security, who makes sure that the fee agreement meets the requirements of the law.
What our agreement says, and what the law requires, is that you will only pay a fee if you are successful in your claim. If you are awarded benefits, then the fee is 25% of your “past due benefits”. “Past due benefits” are the monthly checks that have accumulated since you first applied up and until the month you are awarded benefits. The fee does not reduce any monthly checks you begin to receive after Social Security finds in your favor. Also, by law the fee cannot be higher than the amount set by law, which is currently $5,300. So, for instance, if you were found disabled and awarded past-due benefits of $24,000, even though 25% of this amount is $6,000, the fee would be limited to $5,300.
The other issue in a fee agreement is the costs associated with obtaining medical evidence, such as medical reports and/or medical records from hospitals or your treating doctors. Social Security does not have any rule for this, but what we do is agree that we will pay any costs associated with getting your case ready for a hearing. We will keep track of the amount we have spent and, if you win your case, you agree that you will reimburse us for any costs we have advanced. On the other hand, if we have spent money for records or reports and you do not win your case, then we will not ask you to reimburse us. It is impossible to predict precisely how much these costs will be in an individual case, but in our experience, the costs rarely exceed $200.
If you feel that you want to be represented by an attorney, please feel free to review our reasons why you should choose us to determine whether we would be a good fit for you.
To discuss your SSI and SSD benefits with an experienced Social Security Disability law attorney, please call us at 412-794-8003 (locally in the Pittsburgh area) or toll free at 1-866-438-8773 (outside the Pittsburgh calling area). If you prefer, you can fill out our intake form, and an experienced lawyer will contact you to schedule an appointment.