On average, around one-third of the people who apply for disability benefits are approved in the initial application. You then have the option of taking your application to the appeals process. The first step is to file for reconsideration. You can then seek a hearing in front of an administrative law judge before seeking recourse with an appeals council.
For all of these stages, you need the help of an experienced Greenville social security attorney. An attorney helps you provide relevant evidence and file a complete application without any delays. The attorney will also work with you through the appeals process by representing you in front of a judge or a council.
That being said, you may have concerns as to how to pay attorney fees. The good news is that most disability lawyers work on a contingency basis. For you, this means that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees.
How Does a Contingency Fee Arrangement Work?
In a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney agrees to defer fees until your claim meets success. This means that if your claim is ultimately unsuccessful, you don’t have to pay your attorney anything. In such an arrangement, you decide a percentage of the disability benefits you will ultimately receive. For instance, if you agree to pay your attorney 20% of the benefits and ultimately get $3,000 in back benefits, your attorney gets $600 from this amount.
This type of payment is contingent upon the success of your claim. The upside to this is that you pay only when your claim is successful and that the attorney works his or her best to have your claim approved.
How Much is The Contingency Fee in Disability Cases?
The actual percentage or amount of contingency fee may vary from case to case. The actual percentage or amount depends on many factors. Typically, if your case is straightforward, you may be able to negotiate lower contingency fees. On the other hand, cases that are harder to win result in higher contingency fees for the attorneys.
Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own set of regulations governing contingency fees in disability claim cases. The agency maintains a cap on the maximum amount or percentage an attorney can charge. Currently, the cap is set at 25% of the back benefits you may receive against your claim. However, the total amount paid to the attorney can’t be more than $6,000. There are some rare cases in which an attorney may be paid more. But that’s only after SSA approves the amount.
On average, you should expect to pay your attorney 20% to 25% of the back benefits when seeking legal help for a disability benefits claim.
Paying Disability Attorney Fees
When you hire a disability attorney on a contingency basis, you grant SSA permission to directly pay the attorney when you receive benefits. So SSA receives the legal bills from your attorney instead of you. The attorney fees are then directly paid by SSA to your legal counsel. Naturally, the fees are paid only when your disability claim is successful and you are due back benefits. If you are not awarded any back benefits, the attorney receives nothing.
A Word on Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Although a contingency fee arrangement covers nearly all of your legal expenses, you may need to pay some minor out-of-pocket expenses as well. These typically cover nominal costs of accessing your medical records, sending or receiving documents, and other small legal chores. You may have to pay this amount to your attorney. It is best to discuss these expenses with your attorney beforehand.
Hiring Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC
If you are filing a disability claim in South Carolina, it is important to hire professional legal help. A good disability attorney has a thorough understanding of the workings of SSA. Such an attorney will help you avoid common mistakes and speed up the claims process. If your claim meets initial denial, the attorney will also work with you through the appeals process.
Here at Robert Surface Law Firm, we have a long experience of working with disability benefits applicants. Our disability law firm in Greenville SC is experienced and equipped to help improve your odds of receiving back benefits on your disability application. We can help you with the initial filing, reconsideration and review requests, and the whole appeals process. Ultimately, our aim is to help you secure the maximum amount of disability benefits you deserve. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorney and discuss your case in person.