Unlike many attorneys, disability lawyers do not charge up-front fees or require a retainer to work on a Social Security disability case. Most disability attorneys and advocates will be paid a fee only if they win the case (this is called a contingency fee.) Here’s how it works.
For Social Security disability lawyers, the fee is limited to 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. Note that the attorney will be paid only out of your past-due benefits, or “backpay.” If no back-dated benefits are awarded, the attorney will not receive a fee; nor is he or she permitted to ask you for one.
It doesn’t usually cost you anything to hire a disability attorney; the fee will be paid out of the disability award you eventually receive. Some attorneys, however, will ask you to pay a nominal amount for costs (see below) at the beginning of your case.
When do you have to pay the attorney’s fee? Usually, you don’t. The SSA takes the entire lawyer’s fee (up to $6,000) from your first disability check (your award of backpay), before the agency sends it to you.
Got a question about Attorney’s fees? Don’t fret. Pick up the phone or email us.