How does a Social Security lawyer get paid?
Social Security lawyers generally use a contingency fee contract to get paid. A contingency fee means that unless we win your case, we do not get paid. Our fee is withheld from your winnings. You may be familiar with this term, as it is used in other areas of law, such as automobile accidents, workers compensation, medical malpractice, and other areas.
When you are dealing with a Social Security approved attorney, the payment process is quite simple. Once we win your case, Social Security calculates the amount of past-due benefits for which you are entitled. Then, Social Security calculates the amount of attorney fees we are entitled to receive, based on those past-due benefits. Social Security then sends the attorney fees directly to the attorney and the remainder of the past-due benefits directly to the claimant. In essence, you never have to pay attorney fees to the attorney out of your pocket. This payment method is true for any attorney on a Social Security case, so long as the attorney is enrolled in the direct fee payment program, and has been approved.
The amount of attorney fees may vary, depending on which level of appeal your case is at. However, the most common level for attorney fees to be paid is at the hearing level before an Administrative Law Judge. In this type of case, as of 2012, an attorney may charge up to 25% of past-due benefits, or $6000, whichever is less. For example, if an Administrative Law Judge awards you benefits and your past-due benefits are calculated to be $10,000, the Social Security attorney will receive $2,500 and you will receive the remaining $7,500. Additionally, if an Administrative Law Judge awards you benefits and your past-due benefits are calculated to be $100,000, the Social Security attorney will receive $6,000 and you will receive the remaining $94,000.
You should ask your prospective Social Security attorney if he or she is a Social Security approved attorney eligible to receive direct payments. This is the only way a Social Security attorney can get paid directly by Social Security and the only way you will know that the attorney is complying with all Social Security regulations and will be paid only the amount that is approved by Social Security. Better yet, call the Sellers Law Firm! You know they are Social Security attorneys approved for direct pay! It can't get much easier than that!
When you have a contingency fee contract with a lawyer, you know that you and the lawyer are sharing the risk on your case. After all, the attorney is willing to work many hours in preparation and trying your case, only to not get paid at all if he or she loses the case. The attorney wants to do everything that he or she can do to win your case, because you want to get your benefits and your attorney wants to get paid for the work he or she has done.
It is for this reason that you should take your claim for Social Security benefits very seriously and you should always follow your attorney's advice. You have the responsibility of attending all possible doctors' appointments and also of keeping your attorney updated with all new medical diagnosis, new medical treatment providers, and most importantly, your current contact information. Winning a Social Security claim requires teamwork between you and your attorney. That is why selecting a Social Security attorney is a very serious decision that should not be taken lightly. You must be able to trust your attorney with your case and your attorney must be able to trust that you will keep him or her updated....Better yet, just call the Sellers Law Firm.