Basics of Social Security Lawyers’ Fees

Hiring a social security lawyer for your claim or appeal might seem to be an overwhelming task.

When you factor in the anxiety most people have about how to pay for a social security lawyer, you begin to see why so many try to pursue their claim alone.

You do not have to go it alone though.  You can afford a social security lawyer!  How?

Social security lawyers only work on a contingency basis.

Let’s take a look at what that means.

The Contingency Fee Agreement

A contingency fee means merely that social security lawyers do not get paid unless you win your claim.  Their costs will be paid out of your benefits before you even get your first check.

Some contingency fees are set up as a lump sum payment that comes out of your benefits at the very beginning, and then you are done.  Others are set up to be taken out, monthly, before your check is sent to you.  This will be decided by you and the social security lawyers when you sign a contingency fee agreement.

A contingency fee agreement states that the social security administration has the permission to pay your legal counsel when you begin receiving your benefits. The social security administration will also be sure to make sure that your agreement follows all applicable regulations.

Your attorney will not be receiving any more than 25% of your benefits or more than $6,000.

There are times when social security lawyers require extra fees. Of course, these fees must meet ample lawful justification before the social security administration approves them. This happens on very rare occasions, and most requests for more money out of your benefits are not approved.

Two Tier Agreements

Some attorneys may have you sign what is called a “two-tier agreement”. It got this name because although similar to the regular contingency agreement, it covers two scenarios instead of one.

The first scenario is the one we laid out just a moment ago: receiving twenty-five percent

The second approach is if your claim is denied and you social security lawyer proceeds with any further appeals on your behalf. In this case, your lawyer may choose to petition for a higher amount rather than accepting the regular amount.  The Social Security Administration would have to approve the higher amount before your lawyers get paid.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Some social security lawyers will also charge you some out-of-pocket fees.  These typically cover the cost of requesting your medical records, copies, postage, etc.  These fees do not usually cost more than $200, but your lawyer should tell you about them before you sign anything.  If they do not, then be sure to ask about any out-of-pocket fees and what they will cover.  These fees are always negotiable.  Moreover, it may be worth it to shop around for attorneys to see if any of them are willing to waive those fees in taking on your case.

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