When you have a disability that prevents you from being able to work, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills. Luckily, Social Security Disability (SSD) is intended to help those very individuals.
In order to receive SSD benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must first apply and be approved; not everyone is approved. This is because it’s not enough to prove that you have a disability. You must also prove that your disability causes your inability to work.
Sure, you can apply for SSD benefits on your own. However, with so much on the line it’s often a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced SSD lawyer who understands the laws surrounding SSD as well as the process, and who knows how to optimize your chances of being approved.
But while all of that sounds great, when you are seeking SSD benefits in order to be able to pay for basic living expenses, how are you supposed to afford an attorney to begin with?
Here’s the good news: SSD lawyers work on what is called a “contingency basis.” This means that you are not obligated to pay them upfront for their services. In fact, they only get paid when their client wins his or her SSD claim. Additionally, even if you win your claim, your attorney is legally prohibited from receiving more than a certain percentage of your past-due benefits.
SSD attorneys require that you sign a contingency fee agreement, which informs the SSD that you have hired an attorney. This gives the SSA permission to pay your attorney if your claim is approved.
The SSA caps SSD attorneys at charging no more than 25 percent of an SSD client’s payment. However, the amount still is not to exceed $6,000. Only in rare cases can an attorney request and be approved for any more money.
Another positive factor is that you will never be required to pay your lawyer money out of your own pocket. Rather, he or she will receive a portion of your back-payments (retroactive benefits) that you are owed when you are approved for SSD benefits. If you aren’t entitled to any benefits, your attorney still can’t receive payment.
By only allowing SSD attorneys to recover fees if their client is approved for SSD benefits, they have a great interest in ensuring that their clients secure such benefits. Plus, by securing your actual date of disability onset, he or she will receive more.
Although it makes great sense to work with an SSD attorney, it’s still important that you speak with him or her prior to hiring them. This is because contingency agreements don’t always cover the attorney’s out-of-pocket expenses put towards your case, such as postage.
The PA SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help
When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!