In case you were unaware, the fees for all attorneys who represent claimants seeking Social Security Disability Benefits are regulated by federal law. Furthermore, these fees are contingent on the attorney’s ability to successfully get an award of benefits for the claimant. In other words, if the attorney is not able to obtain an award of benefits for the claimant, the attorney does not get a fee.
The statute in question that regulates attorneys fees states that the attorney is entitled to get 25% of the claimant’s retroactive benefits or a flat fee (which currently stands at $6,000), whichever is less. An attorney is not entitled to receive any monies from a claimant’s monthly checks from Social Security.
Social Security sends the attorney his or her fee check once the claim is approved and the amount of retroactive benefits is determined. The claimant should not have to pay any part of the fee out of his or her pocket. However, Social Security does not reimburse an attorney for his or her expenses. That amount is generally billed by the attorney to the claimant after the claimant receives a favorable or unfavorable decision from Social Security.
An attorney’s expenses are owed by the claimant to his or her attorney whether or not the attorney is successful at getting benefits for the claimant. Attorney’s costs usually include court filing fees and costs to obtain medical records and reports, as well as travel expenses.
For any more questions regarding Social Security disability benefits, it is strongly recommended that you seek experienced counsel immediately.