Fee Information for Disability Attorneys
Unlike most lawyers, disability attorneys don’t take an upfront fee or retainer to begin work on your Social Security case; most only get paid if they prevail on your behalf, which is called working on a contingency-fee basis. Here, you will learn more about hiring a Social Security Lawyer Chicago.
The Contingency Fee Arrangement
When you hire a lawyer, you must sign a contract allowing the Social Security Administration to pay them upon the approval of your SSI or SSDI claim. The SSA reviews the contract to ensure that it meets government guidelines, to ensure that your lawyer gets only what they’re entitled to.
Disability Attorney’s Fees Explained
For an SSI Disability Lawyer in Chicago, the fee can be no more than 25% of the overdue benefits you’re owed, up to $6000. Your lawyer’s fee will come only out of your retroactive benefits (back pay); if you’re not getting back pay, the lawyer doesn’t get a fee—and they’re legally barred from asking for payment.
Hiring a disability lawyer doesn’t normally cost anything, as they are paid from your settlement. However, some attorneys ask for a nominal fee at the case’s beginning to cover court costs. Typically, you don’t have to give the attorney any money; the SSA deducts the fee from your award before forwarding it to you.
Retroactive Disability Benefits
Once your claim is approved, the SSA calculates the amount you’re owed. In SSDI cases, that amount includes pay from the date of approval back to the date your disability began, for up to twelve months. In SSI disability cases, benefits are determined from the date of approval back to the month following your application.
Out of Pocket Fees
During your case, a Social Security Lawyer Chicago typically has to request your work, school and medical records, and occasionally they need copies of psychological or medical reports. Those papers can be expensive, and you’re usually the one who has to pay. You’re also likely to be charged for office supplies and postage; very rarely does this amount exceed $200.
Before you hire a disability attorney, you should ask them whether you’ll be charged for those out of pocket costs as well as the attorney’s fee, and what expenses are included in the total.