The Social Security disability process allows people who are filing for disability to hire an attorney or a non-attorney representative to represent their case. Attorneys represent disability cases for a fee amount. The fee is regulated by SSA and is one-fourth of any back payment the claimant has received, up to $6,000.
When a disability claimant signs the fee agreement with an attorney, they are signing a legally binding contract in which they agree to pay the attorney or representative the agreed upon fee and any incidental expenses outlined in the fee agreement.
Incidental expenses could include medical records, vocational experts, phone calls, travel, copying, etc. Some attorneys ask that the expenses be paid whether an individual wins or loses the claim while others collect only if they win the disability claim.
Usually, the cost of getting medical records is always an expected expense. Attorneys or representatives require the claimant to pay for the cost of medical records, or they ask for repayment of medical records cost once a decision has been made.
A fee agreement could contain just about any agreed upon expense and as long as both the attorney and disability claimant sign the agreement, it is valid. That is why it is so important for disability claimants to read their fee agreement carefully before signing it. If a disability claimant has difficulty reading and comprehending, they should take it to someone who can read and understand so they know what they are agreeing to pay the representative or attorney.
Social Security allows attorneys and representatives to collect a fee and allowable incidental fees to encourage them to represent disability claimants who often have no money or very little money. Most disability claimants could not afford representative if they had to pay a retainer or a regular hourly legal fee to an attorney or representative.
Naturally, this would greatly disadvantage disability claimants who were not able to keep up with their paperwork, or those who have to attend an administrative law judge disability hearing.
How a Social Security Attorney Can Help
Whether you’re preparing your first SSDI application, submitting your claim for Reconsideration or appealing a rejected claim, you have a greater chance of success with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.
Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC understand the complex SSDI application process and the information necessary to receive approval while maximizing the financial support you need for your condition. We also have a thorough knowledge of the appeals process and can help you assemble the additional information necessary to bolster your claim if you’ve been denied.
If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance filing your SSDI application or making an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation.