How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my Social Security disability case?
Health problems stopped you from working. You’re struggling with a loss of income. Hiring a lawyer for your Social Security Disability claim sounds expensive.
But it’s not.
In fact, the Social Security system is designed to make it easier for you to afford help with your disability application or appeal:
- You pay no attorney’s fee up front.
- You don’t pay any fee unless you win.
- You never pay a fee out of your pocket. When you win benefits, the money for your attorney comes from back benefits that Social Security awards you.
- Social Security sets a cap limiting how much your attorney can collect from those back benefits.
Social Security Disability attorney’s fees are governed by federal regulations. So just about every disability lawyer works the same way.
Attorney’s fees in these cases are called contingency fees, which means they are contingent upon you winning your case.
At the Makris Law Firm, we’ll also help you get started by evaluating your case for free.
What’s the limit my attorney can charge?
Under Social Security rules, your lawyer can charge up to 25% of your past-due benefits.
And that only counts up to a dollar limit of $7,200.
The attorney’s fee never goes above $7,200 of your back benefits.
What are my back benefits?
Every Social Security Disability case takes time.
It can take months from the day you apply to receive an initial decision.
If you need to appeal your case to a Social Security Administrative Law Judge, it can take more than a year to have a hearing.
Recent numbers from Texas put the wait at almost 14 months.
During all that waiting time, though, you still have serious health problems, and you still can’t work.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes this, so for Social Security Disability (SSD) cases, it awards you back pay covering the time since the day it determined your disability began.
This back pay can add up starting a year before your application date.
In the other disability benefits program run by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income — or SSI — you get back pay covering the period starting the month after you submitted your application until the day your benefits are approved.
Your chances of winning benefits are better if you have a professional representing you.
You’re already dealing with serious health problems and money stress. At the Makris Law Firm, we’re glad the system is designed to save you from financial risk in working with a lawyer.
What other legal costs do I face?
A Social Security Disability case often involves costs to obtain out of state medical records, work records and school records. You also might have costs for copies and postage. Texas law prohibits Texas medical providers from charging fees for records for use in a Social Security Disability or SSI proceeding.
Your attorney could separately bill you for these items. Usually it’s a nominal amount or nothing if most of your providers are in Texas.
What does a disability lawyer do for me?
You’re not required to work with a lawyer on your disability claim. But having one improves your chances of winning benefits, according to past Social Security numbers.
And especially if you have a hearing coming up with a judge, we strongly encourage you to get legal representation.
At Makris Law Firm, we do all of this for you:
- understand your impairments
- analyze your Social Security file
- prepare your case
- obtain important evidence such as medical records
- prepare your testimony
- question witnesses
- cross-examine any medical and/or vocational experts who testify at your hearing
- file appeals in a timely manner (if necessary)
- represent you at each stage of your claim
Makris Law Firm has over 35 years of experience helping Texans when they need it the most.