SSI Lawyers Fees, How Much Will You Pay?

SSI Lawyers Fees, How Much Will You Pay?

When you are filing for Social Security, it is recommended that you start connecting with SSI and SSDI lawyers to assist you in the process.

Just having the connection and being informed will help increase your odds of being approved on your first go-round. 

However, if you have already applied and been denied, then it not just important to hire and SSI Lawyer, it is critical!

The costs for SSI lawyers can be a concern for many seeking help.  Costs are often cited as the biggest fear of people in this situation, but the good news is that fees are designed so that the cost of a great SSI Lawyer isn’t your barrier to ultimate success.

Read below to see how you can hire a great SSI Lawyer, risk-free!

How SSI Lawyers Can Help

As a brief primer, we should cover what Social security lawyers will do to help you once you retain their services. You will receive support, and even hands-on work on your application to social security as well as meeting required deadlines and collecting enough evidence to successfully represent you so that you may be approved to receive your benefits.  In short, retaining a good lawyer will make sure your claim and appeal get done… and done well!

Contingency Fee

SSI lawyers charge a contingency fee for representing you in your Social Security claim.  When you first meet your Social Security lawyer, you will go over a contingency fee agreement. Once this is signed, it will allow the Social Security Administration to pay your attorney from your past-due benefits, when they have been approved.

SSI lawyers only get paid for representing you if you win your appeal, and they will only receive payment from your back pay.

Keep in mind that although you are not paying for the lawyers’ services out of pocket, there are other costs involved that might require your payment. A disability attorney needs to have access to and collect all kinds of records including medical, work and school. This process can be pricey, and some attorneys will require you to be the one responsible for your lawyers’ access to them. Any mailing or copying charges could also be your responsibility. It is a good idea when meeting your attorney to ask what costs you will be responsible for and whether those costs are expected to be covered at the time or after you begin receiving benefits.

Back Pay

Lawyers’ fees are paid through your back pay. This is the money you would be receiving if you were to get benefits during the time you were disabled but not yet approved for benefits. Social security lawyers get a maximum of twenty-five percent of the back pay you are awarded up to a maximum of six thousand dollars. In the rare case you are not awarded back pay, your lawyer might then submit a fee petition. This could allow your lawyer to still receive a fee for their services. This does not mean you necessarily have to pay out of pocket. However, the fee would then typically come out of your awarded amount.

Again, make sure you go over this with any prospective SSI Lawyer you intend to work with.

Exceptions

There are a few situations where Social Security Lawyers may ask for more than the typical max of six thousand from your back pay and submit a fee petition. These conditions typically require for you to :

  1. Hire a new, different attorney than who you started with, or fire your previous attorney. This particular case can be confusing. If the first lawyer you worked with did a significant amount of work and did not waive their fee, then the two lawyers will have to share the percentage of your back pay. This may end in your current lawyer asking for a higher fee to make up the difference.
  2. You are still denied benefits after the appeal hearing and need to further your case to federal court.

If you have questions about your Social Security claim or need assistance filling out your claim, contact us today!

I’d Like To Talk to Lilac City Law About SSI Help & Go Over the Contingency Agreement
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5 Tips For a New SSI & SSDI Social Security Claim

5 Tips For a New SSI & SSDI Social Security Claim

 

If you’re filing an SSI or SSDI claim, you want to do your best to avoid ending up in an appeal process that could delay your benefits by up to 2 years! 

Here are five tips to help you get ahead of the curve and give you a better chance of successfully getting your claim approved the first time you apply for SSI or SSDI benefits. 

 

Get All Your Medical Records Together and Copied

Your medical records are primary sources of evidence in your Social Security Claim.  And if you end up in appeal, these records will be some of the items your social security attorney will be relying on to make your case as strong as possible.  For this reason, one of the very best things you can do up-front in in your social security claim is to both request whatever records you are able to, and to make copies.

Even better than this is to either obtain a digital copy, by request – or take your records to an office supply store and ask that they create .PDF copies for you.  In this manner you can print off as many as you need, if ever asked!

 

Talk To Your Doctor About Your Social Security Claim

Getting your symptoms into your medical record can truly help your Social Security claim.  The easiest and best way to do this is to talk to your doctor openly and honestly about any of your challenges.  For instance, you may be unable to work because of hand injuries, however if you leave it at just that – a lot of speculation could arise about your ability to perform other tasks.  If though, you have hand injuries and significant associated pain, the total impact of your disability changes.

This means, don’t clam-up in discussing all the symptoms and physical/mental health barriers you’re experiencing when your doctor asks how you’re doing.  Ask them to make a note of your response too, if you feel like you’re not being heard.  You don’t want someone to say at a later date that you created a set of symptoms when in reality you’ve been experiencing them the whole time.

 

Be Honest About Your Symptoms

After the last point, this one bears discussion.  It’s tremendously important that you get your symptoms noted in your medical records.  However, you have to make sure you’re being completely honest about them too.  Don’t overstate your symptoms, the last thing you want to pop-up in your claim is a fraudulent statement about your personal barriers.  On that note though, don’t understate your symptoms.  This is a classic situation that hinders many excellent claims.  If someone asks how you’re doing, answer truthfully and fully.  If you’re having a bad day, say so.  If your stomach is upset say so.  If you didn’t’ get any sleep, say so.  And so on.

It’s not always easy to be honest with someone about physical or mental heath barriers.  But with your doctor, employer, and lawyer, you should lay it all out.   Especially with a Social Security claim in discussion.

 

Seek A Statement From Your Doctor

A doctor’s statement will have an very significant impact on your claim.  Or rather, it could have a significant impact if they frame it in the right context.

In reality a doctor, or several doctors will already be giving input on the severity of your disabling conditions.  And by their very nature, doctors will often shy away from judging how it will impact your life, in lieu of just describing the limitations imposed.  If you are able to discuss it with your doctor, having them draft a statement that covers both what is wrong and exactly how it impacts your ability to work, will be very helpful.

To understand why, you have to get into the mind of a Social Security decision maker for a minute.  They are tasked with understanding your claim, looking at the evidence, and trying to understand how the two are related – all within a small amount of time.  Without an expert’s opinion, they have to formulate an opinion based on what they have.  However, if you do have an expert’s opinion, your doctor, it eliminates the subjective basis of the adjudicator’s determination.  For them to counter the doctor’s opinion they need another doctor’s opinion or a more significant understanding of the facts of your claim.  Make their job easy and provide a medical opinion in your favor up-front.

 

Record and Provide Detailed Records of Your Work History, If You Have One

The basis for this tip is different depending on whether you’re filing for an SSI claim or an SSDI claim.  However, the fundamental value is the same.

If you’re filing for SSI because of a disability, you want to show any work history you may have had, even if it’s 15 years ago.  If you were able to work successfully prior to your condition, then you can demonstrate there’s a difference between the you that is claiming, and the you that was able to work successfully in the past.  With the difference being your disabling condition, presumably.

Likewise, if you’re filing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, detailing your recent work history will demonstrate exactly how your disabling condition has been affecting your ability to maintain employment.  Or how it stops you from being able to do what you’ve been doing.

It’s tempting to try to discount employment or to play it down, but if viewed in the right manner, a full and detailed employment history often plays favorably into a claim for SSI or SSDI benefits.

 


If you want to talk more about this, or any of these other tips, you should contact a Social Security disability attorney for a free consultation.


 

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