Social Security is a contingency-based practice, meaning that there are no attorney’s fees. A knowledgeable lawyer may get paid only when they win a case for a client and are able to receive a settlement amount as well as back pay for all the time spent during the process. Social Security would owe a person retroactive payments for those months that they were denying them if an attorney can prove that their client was disabled during their claims process.
Federal law caps attorney’s fees at 25 percent of back pay and no more than $6,000. Whichever amount is lesser would be paid to a lawyer out of a claimant’s settlement check, which is the lump sum of a compensatory award plus back pay.
Those pursuing benefits from Social Security should retain a skilled lawyer because they would not have to pay anything upfront, and the attorney could get them a longer period of back pay. Additionally, they would not have to pay until they receive reimbursement from Social Security. Someone with legal representative will have a higher chance of receiving more back pay benefits, because an experienced lawyer can look for technical issues and establish a case through medical evidence and legal arguments.
There is a difference between attorney’s fees and costs that they incur for the case. For example, the latter may account for costs related to ordering medical records, which is the biggest cost in Social Security cases and is separate from attorney’s fees. Lawyers incur costs for their client and provide an itemized statement that details how much money they spent gathering medical evidence. A successful claimant can pay that bill out of their Social Security check.
Legal representatives do not bill until a case is complete because they understand that it can be difficult to cover while benefits are still processing. In most cases, the cost of gathering medical records depends on how there are to collect. Through the initial stage of the application and disability process, attorneys push Social Security to order as many of an applicant’s medical records as possible so that they do not have to order them and incur unnecessary costs.
When it is time to attend a hearing and go before a judge, lawyers are not able to rely on Social Security. They have to order anything that is missing or update any record that has not been ordered. Most medical providers charge a nominal fee of anywhere from $10 to $30 or even more for giving medical records, which attorneys pay upfront.
When a case is finished, a typical bill for medical records is about $200, but some could be a bit more than that if they had an extensive medical file. Others may be less than that is a client did not have the money to visit their doctor regularly. For more information about how attorney’s fees work, call our team today.