What To Know About Paying Your Social Security Attorney
If you have been too sick to work and have been turned down for Social Security benefits, you may not be in the best of financial situations. With bills mounting, the very thought of hiring a Social Security attorney to help you with your appeal seems completely unthinkable. Fortunately, legal professionals and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have put in place rules and guidelines for people just like you. To learn more about how your Social Security attorney gets paid, read on.
Contingency Fee Agreements
This type of agreement is used by personal injury attorneys as well as those who advocate on your behalf with the SSA. The contingency fee is a certain percentage of the amount recovered from your case or claim. In this instance, its a percentage of back pay owed to you from the SSA. If you are owed back pay, and the lawyer agrees to represent you, you won't need to worry about large hourly rates being billed to you. If your lawyer is not able to get you your back pay, you will only owe some minor administrative costs, which will be detailed in the agreement that you sign. The SSA must approve of the agreement, which must follow their guidelines to be valid.
Limits on Fees
The SSA limits the total amount your attorney can earn for representing you to $6000, or 25% or less of your back pay. For instance, if your back pay award amounted to $20,000, your attorney could earn $5034, or 25% of the total. The amount cannot exceed $6,000, regardless of the back pay amount awarded.
An attorney's time is both valuable and costly, so the limits on fees for legal representation can be very beneficial for most claimants. Your fee agreements contains vital information about any additional costs and fees that may be billed to you, outside of the contingency fee deal. These expenses are normally minor and miscellaneous fees like printing and mailing expenses. It's important to note that even if the SSA does not approve your claim, these fees will still be owed to your attorney.
In cases where your case must be appealed to more than a single level, your attorney may ask the SSA for a so-called two-tier agreement. For example, if your case is denied on appeal but you are able to file an additional appeal, your attorney may be entitled to a two-tier agreement.
Put your case in the hands of a Social Security legal professional--such as one from The Nelson Law Firm LLC--who will work hard to get you the benefits you need and deserve.