Social Security attorneys are paid on a contingent basis. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay- it’s as simple as that.
So how much do I get paid, once you win?
The Social Security Administration has determined that an attorney who prevails on a case is entitled to 25% of past due benefits up to a maximum fee of $6,000. That sounds fine, but what does it mean?
Breaking Down A Social Security Case
When you apply for social security disability, you are entitled to recover benefits for one year prior to your application, subject to a six month waiting period.
This is a little bit of a complicated concept so the easiest way to explain it is to provide an illustration. For example, you become disabled and stop working on June 1, 2014 and apply for disability on that date, and you get accepted on June 1, 2015. Under this scenario, you will receive back pay for six months or back to November 1, 2014. If this back benefit is $12,000, my fee is 25% or $3,000.
However, if you don’t get accepted until March 1, 2016, you will still receive benefits back to November 1, 2014. If this amount is $40,000, 25% would be $10,000. However, because the fee is capped at $6,000, that is the amount I would receive.
You Get What You Pay For
In short, the only way I get paid is if you win. It is true that you would get more money if you did not hire an advocate to represent you.
However, one thing I have learned in over twenty five years of doing this is that you get what you paid for. It’s not very realistic to think you could handle this on your own. We lawyers have an expression regarding lawyers who try to handle their own case.
A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client!
This is not meant to be disrespectful but rather to point out how important it is to have a counselor. If that applies to attorneys, surely it applies even more so to those who don’t have a legal background.
You Have Nothing To Lose
Therefore, do not feel afraid or hesitant to hire a social security attorney because of possible fees. Until and unless you win, I invest time and money out of pocket that will not be paid back. In short, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.