If you suffer a medical condition, illness, or disease that makes it impossible to work, you may decide to apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you qualify for this support, it can provide critical financial help during short-term, long-term, and permanent disabilities.
Statistics show your chances of receiving an approved claim are higher if you hire a Social Security (SS) disability attorney. Having legal representation and an advocate on your side can provide you with a sense of relief and comfort knowing you have skilled and experienced help when applying for benefits.
But an SS attorney also knows exactly what you need to do to increase the likelihood that you’ll submit a winning claim.
Hiring an SS disability attorney may seem overwhelming to some claimants. They may be concerned they can’t afford an attorney because they don’t know or understand the costs involved. If you’re worried the financial obligation of hiring an attorney is too high, here's information that details case expenses, out-of-pocket costs, and any additional fees not covered by the settlement.
Costs Involved in Hiring a Disability Lawyer
Most SS disability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you won't pay upfront costs and no initial fees to hire this type of lawyer. Additionally, most SS lawyers offer a free initial evaluation to allow potential clients the opportunity to determine if the firm's approach is right for them, and for the legal advisor to go over the claim to determine if there's a case.
There are multiple benefits of this free evaluation, including the opportunity to:
- Discuss with an experienced SS attorney or firm staff member the medical condition for which you’re submitting a claim.
- Briefly discuss what’s needed with your application and learn how the SS attorney can help you with this.
- Discuss whether or not you qualify for disability benefits and the eligibility requirements for your condition.
- Discuss what type of medical information you’ll need to include with your application.
Usually, an SS disability attorney is paid out of any benefit you’re awarded. The typical cost breakdown looks like this:
- The attorney’s fee is limited to 25 percent of any past-due benefits the SSA awards you, and is capped at $6,000.
- The attorney is paid out of your past-due benefits—also referred to as back pay.
- The attorney receives no fee if you don't receive back pay benefits.
There are some out-of-pocket expenses that an SS disability attorney may require you to pay. He may ask that you reimburse for these common expenses upfront, or they'll be included in your bill. These include:
- Travel expenses to and from court, or paying for expert witnesses who must travel for your case
- Medical records that help prove you have a disabling condition
- Medical opinions that detail your disability
- Photocopying and postage for medical reports and documentation that need to be sent from hospitals and other medical facilities
Be sure to ask your attorney to provide you with an “expense agreement” that details how the law firm handles these out-of-pocket expenses. If the firm covers these fees for you, you will be billed for them after your case is closed.
Paying Your Attorney
After your case has concluded, you don’t pay your lawyer directly. Instead, your lawyer will be paid through the SSA. The SSA will deduct all lawyer fees from your first past-due benefits check before you receive the check. This fee can total up to $6,000, but it's usually less.
Why You Need Cuddigan Law
If you need disability benefits from the SSA, hiring legal representation can be very beneficial in getting your claim approved. The attorneys at Cuddigan Law assist thousands of clients, filling out their paperwork, collecting their medical records, calling doctors, and managing them through the application process.
Contact us for a free evaluation, and we’ll review your case and discuss how we can increase the chances of receiving an approval on your claim.