If you are trying to get your Social Security disability application approved, you are probably in no position to pay a lot of money to a lawyer to help you. In most cases, being out of work because of your medical condition has also created a tight financial situation. If you have been turned down for benefits, it's advisable to get some professional legal help when your case comes up on appeal. Read on to learn about a way to get some important legal help without needing to come up with any upfront money.
The Contingency Fee Solution
You may have seen those advertisements that inform those injured that they need not pay any money to have a personal injury attorney help them with their case. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement, where the attorney takes a percentage of the settlement as the fee. Social Security attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis. You will know the amount of the contingency fee (the percentage) ahead of time, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) must approve of the plan before any work can be done on your case.
Paying Your Attorney Using Back Pay
From the time you become unable to work at your job until you finally begin to receive your benefits is a transitional time that's spent applying, waiting for approval and appealing your denial. Often, months and months will pass before you see any SSA benefits. You are, however, entitled to be reimbursed for some of this transitional period and this is known as "back pay". It is from this money, usually given in a lump sum once your claim is approved, that your attorney is paid.
The SSA not only has to approve the payment plan, they also set limits on the amount the attorney may charge you. The total fee amount has a $6,000 cap, and cannot exceed 25% of your back pay amount. You and your attorney are free to agree on a lesser amount, but not on more. Once your claim is approved, the SSA will pay your attorney the agreed upon amount directly from your back pay disbursement and you will receive the balance.
There may be some minor, low cost charges that are not included in the contingency fee, but will be mentioned in the agreement. You may be responsible for mailing/postage, printing/copying and other miscellaneous charges once your case is complete. These fees will be due even if you lose your case on appeal.
To learn more about contingency fees arrangements and Social Security appeals, speak to a professional such as Timothy W Hudson Attorney.