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Hiring A Representative To Help With A SSDI Claim


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While you can hire anyone to assist you complete the forms and even represent you to Social Security at any time during the process, only an attorney can help you officially and be paid directly by Social Security from any retrospective benefit you may receive. Most attorneys work on a contingency basis which means they only collect their fee if you win.

Social Security limits what attorneys can charge you and receive the payment directly from Social Security to no more than 25% of your "retroactive benefit" up to a maximum payment to the attorney in 2013 of $6,000. The retroactive benefit is the lump sum you receive from Social Security for the period starting with the date you started earning SSDI until the date of approval.

This fee does not include costs (medical expert or vocational expert consultations and testimony or other expenses). All representatives must abide by the Social Security Administration's standards of conduct regarding fee regulations and cannot charge a fee until that fee is approved by the Social Security Administration.

If Social Security authorizes a fee greater than the amount of past-due benefits withheld, you are responsible for paying the difference to the attorney.

Social Security Disability withholds the fee you authorize from the past due amount and pays the attorney directly.

Your regular monthly payments will not be affected by an award to an attorney.

Attorneys cannot charge a minimum fee. 

For more information on fee schedules, including the fee arrangement process, approval of the fee arrangement, exceptions, and provisions that cannot be included see: offsite link

NOTE: Overpayments and similar non-retrospective-generating client cases are NOT contingency fee cases.  Attorneys who accept such cases for representation charge an hourly rate, and payment of a retainer is expected. 

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