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Factors that Determine How Much Social Security Disability Attorneys Get Paid

Published on January 11th, 2018

Unlike traditional attorneys that charge retainer fees or hourly fees, a social security disability attorney only gets paid when a case is won. This is good news for clients because the attorney’s pay is based on the result of their work. Here are the factors that determine how much a social security disability attorney gets paid.

Disability Attorney Payment

Average Salary

The average salary of a social security disability attorney is $118,000 nationwide. This salary greatly depends on the geographic region they are in, as well as how many cases they win per year for their clients. These types of attorneys aren’t the average million-dollar salary attorneys because disability attorneys only get paid when a client’s case is won. This is different from traditional attorneys that we think of who make very high salaries, simply because social security disability attorneys do not charge clients like other types of law practices.

Contingency Fee

A contingency fee is the pay that the attorney receives from their clients for winning a case. Social security disability attorneys do not ask for upfront retainer fees or hourly fees. These types of attorneys are only paid when the case is won.

Determining Amount of Contingency Fee

Contingency fees are limited to 25 percent of the past-due benefits that you are owed by Social Security (up to $6,000). The attorney will only be paid from past-due benefits (“backpay”), therefore if no backpay benefits are owed to you, the attorney will not receive any fee for their work.

Cost to Get Started with Disability Attorneys

Since social security disability attorneys work on contingency, there is no cost to the client to get started. Keep in mind that the attorney usually must request the claimant’s records (such as medical, work, school or medical/psychological examinations). Clients must pay for these cost separately from the attorney’s contingency fee. There might be other costs associated with your case such as postage or photocopying. Attorneys are permitted to ask you for advance payment of these items, as long as the money is held in a trust until they are needed. However, attorneys typically pay for these costs and then invoice for reimbursement at the end of the case.

Choosing the right attorney starts with asking questions to ensure that you understand the process and how the attorney can help you win. To start working with a social security disability attorney on your case, contact us today.


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