If you’re a disabled U.S. worker who’s paid Social Security taxes over a working lifetime, you may have questions about disability lawyers. For instance, you might ask why, or if, you need a Social Security disability lawyer?
If you’re concerned about finances, you’re probably wondering about how much a qualified Social Security disability attorney costs. Finally, you’re probably curious about what services the Social Security disability lawyer offers.
Social Security Disability Lawyers
Many Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) claimants are initially denied by SSA when they go it alone. The Social Security Disability application is complex, and many applicants haven’t thought about the information content and format preferences of SSA claims reviewers. Because the Social Security lawyer is experienced in all aspects of the Social Security Disability application, he or she can provide invaluable advice about doing it right from the start.
Most Social Security disability lawyers don’t charge front-end retainers or up-front fees to clients in search of Social Security Disability income benefits. Most Social Security disability advocates and lawyers are paid on performance. The client signs a contingency agreement and promises to pay the attorney if and when SSA approves his or her request for SSDI.
Social Security Disability Lawyers and the Contingency Fee Agreement
The process of engaging a Social Security disability lawyer for an SSDI or SSI claim involves signing a fee agreement. The Contingency Fee Agreement is the client’s promise to pay the attorney if the SSDI/SSI request for benefits is approved. SSA directly pays the attorney, so it’s important to know that once you sign on with a Social Security disability lawyer, he or she is your advocate for the duration of the claims evaluation process.
SSA allows the Social Security disability lawyer to earn up to a maximum fee for providing services on a contingency basis. He or she can’t charge more than the maximum of USD 6,000 or 25 percent of past-due (backpay) benefits you’re awarded. If SSA doesn’t approve backpay on your case, the Social Security disability lawyer won’t receive payment. However, in this case, the disability lawyer may petition Social Security to ask for payment.
In most cases, it doesn’t cost the claimant anything to engage the disability lawyer. It’s possible that some Social Security disability lawyers will ask you to pay for out-of-pocket costs relating to the filing of your case. When discussing your potential case with a Social Security disability lawyer, ask about any costs associated with the case before signing a fee agreement.
Social Security Disability Backpay
When you’re approved for SSDI, Social Security Administration calculates the backpay owed to you. If you’re approved for SSDI, backpay includes retroactive (“past-due”) benefits you’re owed from your SSA approval date, retroactive to the date on which SSA believes your disability began. SSA can only pay 12 months retroactively from your SSDI application date in most instances.
Find a Qualified Social Security Disability Lawyer
A qualified and experienced Social Security disability lawyer can make the difference between the client’s winning or losing an SSDI claim. Deciding on the SSDI lawyer is no small decision.
SSA disability lawyers can be sourced from your state bar association, legal aid society, or from an Internet search. However, simply googling “qualified Social Security disability income lawyer” might not be the best way to learn about whether a disability law firm or solo practitioner is the right resource for you.
When reviewing any Social Security lawyer’s qualifications, ask about his or her experience in helping clients’ win Social Security Disability benefits cases. Ask him or her about the process of filing a benefits claim? Learn if, after the attorney or law firm submits the application, how much follow-up and detail work they’ll perform on your behalf.
Social Security Disability Lawyer Interview
A question and answer session with the disability lawyer can help you decide if he or she is the right fit. For instance, ask the lawyer about his or her experience in helping claimants with your specific disability or medical condition.
If you’re suffering from a rare condition, it’s important to explain your disability as clearly and succinctly as possible. For example, if you’re disabled because of a rare neuroendocrine pheochromcytoma condition, tell the disability lawyer you have a neuroendocrine disease that involves the adrenal glands.
Since many Social Security disability lawyers manage many cases, prepare your questions before the call or in-person meeting beforehand. It’s important to know that the disability lawyer’s office is busy and that he or she has satisfied clients. It’s also important to know if he or she, or a paralegal, returns calls within a reasonable time. He or she is accessible.
Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers
The SSDI claims submission and approval process is lengthy and frequently complicated. It’s difficult for most beneficiaries to orchestrate the process of preparing the claim and presenting the facts in a soon to follow SSA interview.
An experienced disability lawyer can reduce the claimant’s concerns about accurately preparing and submitting the Social Security Disability application. He or she often has a group of professionals who interact with the claimant’s SSA field office about application status. Support from the disability attorney and paraprofessional team can expedite the claimant’s SSDI benefits application from the beginning.
Sometimes, claimants wait until SSA denies the first SSDI application to engage a Social Security disability lawyer. Time is money, as the saying goes. In doing so, the claimant extends the amount of time necessary to access disability benefits.
Engaging an experienced disability lawyer is considered a necessity by some financial experts. SSA representatives communicate more effectively and efficiently with experienced disability counsel and can thereby usually process the claimant’s application for benefits with fewer delays.