I need help on my Social Security disability case, but I don’t want to be ripped off!

One of the hardest parts about getting help on a Social Security case is finding the right person to work with.

What if i hire a lawyer and they don’t do anything?

What if I am not happy with the lawyer?

I don’t want to be stuck with a big bill.

Fortunately, Social Security takes a lot of the worry out of hiring a lawyer.

You only pay if you win.

Most attorneys who specialize* in Social Security disability cases work on a contingency fee basis.  You only pay attorney fees if you win.  If you do not win, you do not have to pay attorney fees. The exception to this is in cases where there are no back benefits for the attorney to take fees out of, for example, overpayment cases.  In those cases, the attorney petitions Social Security at the end of the case to approve fees for the attorney’s services.  Social Security, not the attorney, decides what you have to pay.

Social Security puts a maximum cap on what you have to pay if you win.

Social Security caps the percentage an attorney can charge and the total maximum an attorney can receive for fees. An attorney can charge no more than 25% of the back benefits in the case, up to a maximum of $5,300 $6,000. You can read more about attorneys fees in Social Security cases here. This $5,300 cap may increase at some point in the future, but it probably wont be any time soon.  As of June 2009, the fee cap is increased to $6,000.

Social Security has to approve any fees an attorney charges you.

Not only does Social Security regulate the percentage and maximum fee an attorney can charge, you do not owe any fees until and unless Social Security approves the attorney’s fees. Not only does the attorney have to win your case, Social Security has to approve the amount your attorney will be paid.

The only way an attorney gets paid is by getting results for you.

Because of the regulations Social Security has in place, the only way attorneys can get paid is by winning. There is no padding hours, no extra jobs to be done, no “rust coating on the undercarriage”  The attorney only gets paid if you win.

This gives Social Security disability attorneys a LOT of incentive to work to get the best result for you!

Updated March 26, 2009. Creative Commons License CC photo credit: stephmcg

*Disclaimer: Colorado does not certify lawyers as “specialists” in any field.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • Swart7355

    Hired an attorney for social security disability benefits, and this firm did nothing to help me.  They got $1750.50 on my award and all they did was send me blank forms to sign to earn this money.  BEWARE!  Attorneys will stretch out the claim filing because the longer it takes, the more money they get.  I never talked to my attorney or even seen her, except on a billboard.  I started dealing with SSA on my own accord, and would send a copy to the attorney.  I was advised by the firm that I should not do this.  Well, because I did do this, I was awarded my disability…no thanks to them.  

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Sorry about the bad experience with your lawyer. As I wrote about here: http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2008/05/could-you-pick-your-attorney-out-of-a-line-up/ lawyers should work for their money. And most of them do. Sadly, it seems that bigger firm you go with, the more likely it is that you will be ignored.