What Fee Structure Applies To Social Security Lawyers?

by | Apr 18, 2016 | Law

Many lawyers charge clients an up-front fee to handle their affairs; this is not the case with a lawyer that represents clients applying for Social Security disability benefits. A Social Security lawyer in Evanston works on contingency which simply means he or she gets paid when they win your case.

How does a contingency fee arrangement work?

A Social Security lawyer assists clients that are applying for either SSDI or SSI. When you first hire the lawyer you will be asked to sign an agreement with the lawyer, this agreement allows the Social Security Administration to pay the lawyer upon approval of your claim. To ensure that the agreement meets the fee guidelines that have been established by the SSA, it is reviewed.

What fee can the lawyer charge?

A Social Security lawyer can charge a fee which is limited to a maximum of $6,000, it is calculated at 25 percent of the back-pay you are granted. The legal fee is strictly based on past-due benefits, if none are awarded the attorney will not receive his or her fee. Rarely does this happen but if it does the lawyer can petition the SSA requesting that a higher fee be paid.

As the disabled applicant it costs you nothing to hire a lawyer, the fee that the lawyer eventually receives is paid directly out of the benefit award that you get and is paid to the lawyer by the SSA.


If you are applying for SSDI the back-pay you will receive includes retroactive benefits that date back to when the administration determined your disability began forward to the date your application was approved. This is subject to a 12-month period from when you first applied.

If you are applying for SSI, your back-pay is from the date of approval for benefits back to the month in which your initial application was made.

With the fee being set at 25 percent of the back-pay to a maximum of $6,000, the amount of the legal fee is actually quite easy to calculate. If the SSA determines that your back-pay is $10,000, your lawyer gets 25 percent or $2,500; you get the balance of $7,500.

Other expenses:

As your case progresses your lawyer may have certain out of pocket expenses that he or she will ask you to repay, these expenses usually have to do with such things as medical tests, psychological tests, photocopies, postage, etc. Your Social Security lawyer in Evanston may ask you to pay these expenses while others bill for reimbursement at the conclusion of the case.

If you suffer from a physical or mental disability you should hire a seasoned Social Security lawyer in Evanston to represent your interests. You are invited to request a free evaluation of your case by contacting The Law Offices of Rabin, Kodner & Brown.

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